Posts Tagged ‘renewable power’

September 20 Energy News

September 20, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Clearly, Biden Has Grasp On Threat Climate Change Poses” • There is near universal consensus among scientists that human activity is warming the planet. While Trump has dismissed man-made climate change as a “hoax,” Biden has put forward a $2 trillion plan to have the electricity sector free of carbon pollution by 2035. [San Antonio Express-News]

Refinery at Port Arthur, Texas (Photo: Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg)

¶ “Can Biden Decarbonize The US Power Sector In 15 Years?” • Is it feasible to completely decarbonize the power sector by 2035? A recent report by Wood Mackenzie mentioned that the US is currently on a path that would achieve 87% clean energy in the US power grid by 2050. Recent history suggests that the target is not totally unrealistic. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “A Climate Reckoning Is Coming, We Can Address It” • We will deal with the problems that climate change creates, and we will emerge at the other end. The real question is how well we deal with it and in what shape we emerge. Climate change impacts are already here, and we’re dealing with them poorly, but renewables are now cheap. [San Antonio Express-News]

Wind farm in Texas (Photo: CPS Energy)

¶ “How The Oil Industry Made Us Doubt Climate Change” • In 1981, an Exxon scientist created one of the first computer models that predicted the effects of man-made climate change. With his work, and work of others like him, Exxon continued for decades to say publically that scientists did not know. Now they are being sued for their deception. [BBC]

Science and Technology:

¶ “This Wireless Power Technology Could Change New Zealand’s Transmission System” • Emrod, a technology startup based in New Zealand, announced that it had developed new long-range, high-powered wireless power transmission technology that could substitute existing copper lines. It uses electromagnetic waves to transfer power over long distances. [Mercom India]

Wireless technology (Emrod image)

¶ “With Solid State Energy Storage, Oil-Rich Texas Hits Clean Tech Trifecta” • If all goes according to plans laid out by the startup EnergyX, Texas will lay claim to birthing disruptive solid state energy storage technology that shepherds more renewables onto the grid while making electric vehicles go farther, charge faster, and cost less. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Cyclone Ianos: Two Dead As ‘Medicane’ Sweeps Across Greece” • Hundreds of people were trapped in flooded buildings as Cyclone Ianos, a Mediterranean hurricane, a type of storm called a “medicane,” battered areas north of Athens. Medicanes, tropical-like cyclones, have been categorised by meteorologists only in the past 40 years. [BBC]

Battered boat in Kefalonia (Reuters image)

¶ “Uber Is Working With Renault And Nissan To Electrify Transport In Europe” • Top app-based taxi companies Uber and Lyft have been making strong strides toward electrification. And thank goodness! When Lyft and Uber drivers switch to electric cars, they cut pollution 3 times more than when a normal driver switches to an electric car. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “First DEEP Geothermal Well In Saskatchewan Exceeds Expectations” • Deep Earth Energy Production is a Canadian company that wants to use the hot water located beneath the Deadwood Formation in Saskatchewan to produce geothermal energy. The temperature of the brine sequestered beneath the surface averages 122° C. [CleanTechnica]

DEEP geothermal operation in Saskatchewan (DEEP image)

¶ “Wind Energy Is The Cheapest Renewable Source In Brazil” • The cheapest renewable generation in Brazil is wind energy, according to a survey undertaken by the Electric Power Chamber of Commerce, which analyzed five years of data. The cost of windpower has fallen from R$231/MWh (4.3¢/kWh) in 2016 to R$195/MWh (3.6¢/kWh) today. [REVE]

US:

¶ “Wildfire-Weary Californians, ‘Tired Of This Being Normal,’ Consider Uprooting Their Lives” • It’s not just the nearly 7,900 wildfires that have consumed more than 3.4 million acres and claimed 26 lives in California that have Arthur Gies looking online for a New York apartment. He realized this is not the new normal, but a prelude for what’s coming. [CNN]

Wildfire (Nancy Hamilton | Golden Eagle Films)

¶ “Tesla Giga Texas Will Be Colossal, Plans Start Trickling Out” • Tesla is planning to create not just another Gigafactory in Austin, but a massive one. For weeks, construction has been going on to build the $1.1 billion factory. And just recently, Tesla filed a site plan that gives us a glimpse of just how large this new factory will be. It will be gigantic. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NJ Solar Project Designed To Keep Natural Gas Pipeline Flowing To Be Completed This Fall” • The Lambertville Solar Project will provide power for a compressor station to keep natural gas flowing in the Texas Eastern Transmission Pipeline. The 8,835 mile pipeline moves natural gas from Texas and Louisiana to the Northeast. [nj.com] (Demented)

Lambertville Solar Project (Courtesy of Enbridge)

¶ “Rivian Completes Hot Weather Towing Test Of Its R1T Electric Pickup Truck” • The Society of Automotive Engineers has an official protocol for measuring towing capacity. A vehicle must tow a trailer up a steep grade on Arizona over a route 11.4 miles long, when the temperature is at least 100°F, maintaining at least 40 mph. Rivian had a pickup do it. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Utah Lawmakers Seek Details On Planned Nuclear Plant In Idaho” • With the date approaching for cities to choose whether to maintain commitments, Utah lawmakers are seeking more details on NuScale Power’s Small Modular Reactor plant. The project is 30% subscribed, and some cities that had interest in it have said they are stepping away. [Deseret News]

Have an inconceivably worthwhile day.

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September 19 Energy News

September 19, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “How Does The US Retire 236 GW Of Coal And 1,000 Gas Peaker Plants?” • We’ve reached a massive milestone in the global energy transition. Right now, American renewable energy sources and energy storage have the ability to match or beat the price of power from natural gas-fired peaker plants and coal-fired generators. [pv magazine USA]

Moss Landing, now a battery site (David Monniaux, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Shocking News! Plug-In Hybrids Are No Damn Good If You Don’t Plug Them In!” • Greenpeace, together with Transport and Environment, conducted a study of how plug-in hybrid cars are used in real world driving. They came to the startling conclusion that plug-in hybrids are no damn good at lowering emissions if drivers don’t plug them in. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Having Killed Coal, US Department Of Energy Aims Energy Storage Dart At Gas & Oil” • Under the watchful eye of President Trump, the US coal industry died, thanks partly to the US DOE’s pursuit of clean tech. Now, the DOE is taking aim at Oil & Gas, as it gives funding to Natron Energy’s low-cost sodium-ion energy storage into mass production. [CleanTechnica]

Natron Energy technology (Natron Energy image, cropped)

World:

¶ “China Seeking To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions And Increase Use Of Renewable Energy” • China, the world’s biggest polluter, is considering plans to move towards more clean energy over the next five years in an effort to reduce its GHG emissions. Government leaders will meet to develop a comprehensive energy strategy. [International Business Times]

¶ “BP’s Plan To Dominate The Solar Industry” • BP is on track to be a very different energy company by 2030, with a massive portfolio of renewables. Today, the oil-turning-energy giant has 16 GW of solar energy in the pipeline. That’s enough to rival even the world’s biggest solar operator, China’s State Power Investment Corp. [Business Insider] (Scroll down.)

Lightsource BP’s floating PVs (Lightsource BP via Reuters)

¶ “EU Raises Emissions Reduction Goal Following Renewables Progress” • The EU has raised its 2030 emissions reduction target by 15 percentage points after solid levels of renewable energy deployment mean the bloc is on track surpass its previous goal. A plan was put forward to reduce emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. [PV-Tech]

¶ “Mühleberg Plant Enters Permanent Decommissioning Stage” • The Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate announced that the operating licence of the 373-MW Mühleberg nuclear power plant has been replaced with a decommissioning order. The boiling water reactor at the Mühleberg nuclear plant went into operation in 1972. [World Nuclear News]

Fuel rod storage at Mühleberg nuclear plant (Image: BKW)

US:

¶ “American Lung Association: Switch To EVs By 2045 Could Save 6,300 American Lives” • A study from the American Lung Association, Road to Clean Air, showed that if Americans would electrify their transportation, it could save $72 billion in health costs and 6,300 lives [annually]. It could also prevent 93,000 asthma attacks. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “San Diego Gets Largest Airport Electric Shuttle Deployment” • ACE Parking has received 18 electric shuttle buses for the San Diego International Airport, and another 11 are due to arrive by the end of 2020. This is the largest electric shuttle order for an airport in US history according to Endera, the EV company supplying the electric shuttles. [CleanTechnica]

Electric shuttle at San Diego (Endera image)

¶ “Amazon Makes Major Investment In Redwood Materials” • JB Straubel, who was the CTO at Tesla for many years, knows a lot about batteries. He has created a new company called Redwood Materials that he describes as a “Gigafactory in reverse,” meaning it is designed to recover most of the raw materials needed to make lithium-ion batteries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Icebreaker Offered Night-Time Shutdown Lifeline” • Ohio Power Siting Board has given a lifeline to the 21-MW Icebreaker offshore wind farm on Lake Erie. The board voted in favour of drafting an amendment to remove the night-time shutdown clause in the OPSB’s approval of the project. The revised ruling has yet to be drafted and voted on. [reNEWS]

Simulated image of wind farm (LEEDCo image)

¶ “Politics Disrupts San Diego’s Pursuit Of An Energy Transition Partner Amid Dissatisfaction With SDG&E” • Conflict among city leaders over San Diego’s energy future has left potential bidders for rights to be the city’s utility, including incumbent San Diego Gas and Electric and Berkshire Hathaway Energy, wondering what to offer. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Colorado Springs Utilities And juwi Sign Power Purchase Agreement For One Of The Largest Battery Storage Projects In Colorado” • Boulder-based juwi Inc and Colorado Springs Utilities announced they signed a power purchase agreement for a 175-MW solar project coupled with a 25 MW, four-hour battery energy storage system. [Utility Dive]

Once completed in 2023, the Pike Solar Project could look like this.

¶ “Anthem Signs 15-Year PPA On 20-MW Virginia Solar Project” • Insurance provider Anthem has committed to a 15-year power purchase agreement with SunEnergy1, a US solar developer, owner and operator of utility-scale solar projects, for the output from a new 182-acre, 20-MW solar field located in Hanover County, Virginia. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Easton Announces New Electricity Program With Lower Rate” • Following approval of a community aggregation plan at town meeting, Easton, Massachusetts, has announced a municipally approved electricity program that strives to secure lower costs for residents and small business owners and includes a 100% green product option. [Wicked Local Easton]

Have a fascinatingly untroubled day.

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September 18 Energy News

September 18, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The Climate Alarms Are Blaring – Are People Not Hearing Them?” • One has to wonder – are we unable to perceive the climate’s warning signs? As human beings, we have the ability to learn that for every action, there is a reaction. However, it seems that we as a species are choosing to be ignorant, pretending that we aren’t destroying the planet. [CleanTechnica]

Air quality (James from D7 via Twitter)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Electric Ford F-150 Will Offer Fleets Game-Changing 40% Lower Cost Of Operation” • The electric F-150, which is to go into production in mid-2022, will have more power and torque than its gasoline-powered counterparts. Ford also promises lower costs for the new F-150, with a total cost of ownership far lower than its combustion competition. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “You Need To Know About Nitrogen Pollution” • Farmers apply nitrogen to the soil in the form of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer. Roughly half of the synthetic nitrogen fertilizer goes unused by the crop and is lost to waterways, where it feeds harmful algae instead of crops and results in red tides and hypoxic dead zones. And that is just for starters. [CleanTechnica]

Farming (Screenshot from Pivot Bio media)

World:

¶ “EU Recharges Climate Plan But Risks Letting Countries Off The Hook On Transport” • Clean transport group Transport & Environment welcomed the European Commission’s new CO₂ targets that include phase-out of engine cars and action on cleaning up ships and planes. But  is not happy with inclusion of road transport in the EU carbon market. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EU Parliament Tells VdL To Make Shipping Polluters Pay” • The European Parliament voted for ships to be required by EU law to cut their carbon emissions. MEPs said that for the first time shipping industry polluters must pay for their emissions in the EU carbon market. The requirements will come into effect gradually to 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Estraden Norsepower hybrid shipping vessel
(Image used with permission of Norsepower)

¶ “Rising Gas Prices Sway Asia’s Power Generators Toward Renewables” • Renewable energy generation in Asian countries may accelerate if, as expected, gas becomes a more expensive fuel for power generation in the years ahead. Liquefied natural gas prices have doubled to $4 per million BTU from a record market low in June. [Stockhead]

¶ “Teck Copper Mine In Chile Switches To Renewable Energy” • Teck Resources has signed a long-term agreement that will provide its Carmen de Andacollo copper operation in central Chile with 100% renewable power, eliminating 200,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually, the equivalent of taking 40,000 cars off the road. [The Northern Miner]

Carmen de Andacollo copper operation (Credit: Teck Resources)

¶ “Rajasthan Could Add 22.6 GW Of New Renewable Energy Capacity To The Grid Within A Decade” • The Indian state of Rajasthan could add 22.6 GW of renewable energy to the grid by the end of FY2029-30, according to a report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. This would include 18 GW of new solar capacity. [pv magazine India]

¶ “‘No Higher Cost Energy’: Nuclear Has Drained Germany Of More Than €1 Trillion To Date” • Development of the nuclear energy industry has led to more than €1 trillion ($1.18 trillion) in costs to the German society, and is wrongly portrayed as an inexpensive power source, according to a study by the Forum for an Ecological-Social Market Economy. [Recharge]

Grafenrheinfeld nuclear plant (Sean Gallup | Getty Images)

US:

¶ “Solar Power Costs Dropped Dramatically In 2018” • According the US Energy Information Administration, data from 2018 show annual capacity-weighted average construction costs for new US utility-scale solar PV and onshore wind systems continued to fall. They contrasted with natural gas generator costs, which declined only slightly. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Rain May Help Fight Wildfires In Oregon, But May Bring Other Problems” • Twelve fires have destroyed over 938,000 acres in Oregon, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. But there are flash flood watches posted for some areas where the vegetation has been stripped by the fire, and the rains could bring mudslides. [CNN]

Oregon (Amanda Ray | Yakima Herald-Republic | AP)

¶ “NRDC And Partners Go To Court On EPA’s Methane Surrender” • NRDC is going to court, with environmental and state partners, to stop the EPA’s dangerous rollback of methane emissions standards in its tracks. We’re asking the US Court of Appeals in Washington, DC, for an order blocking the EPA rollback from going forward. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Boeing, SRP Enter Into Renewable Energy Agreement For Mesa Campus” • Boeing and the Salt River Project utility have signed a multi-year agreement to power Boeing’s Mesa, Arizona, site with renewable solar energy. Boeing’s Mesa site will receive about 25% of its electricity needs from this plant over the next 15 years. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Solar farm (SRP image)

¶ “‘Game-Changer’ FERC Order Opens Up Wholesale Grid Markets To Distributed Energy Resources” • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has passed a long-awaited order to open up the country’s wholesale energy markets to distributed energy resources like rooftop solar, behind-the-meter batteries and electric vehicles. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Cuomo Proposes Regulations To Speed Up Renewable Siting, Construction” • New York Gov Cuomo announced proposed regulations to implement the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act. The draft regulatory framework will greatly speed up siting and construction of major renewable energy projects. [Solar Industry]

Have an entertainingly serene day.

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September 17 Energy News

September 17, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “How Scotland’s Green Hydrogen Plan Crushes The Fossil Hydrogen Dream” • Scotland has come up with a plan to pivot its vast wind power riches and other renewables in the service of producing the zero emission hydrogen fuel and other sustainable hydrogen products. Green hydrogen fuel can be made when demand for electricity is low. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind turbines (Courtesy of Scottish Power Renewables)

¶ “Stronger, Cheaper, Smarter: Can Coalition Ignore Benefits Of A Renewables-Led Recovery Plan?” • A Covid recovery plan based around wind, solar and energy efficiency would deliver a stronger economic recovery for Australia, with higher living standards, lower unemployment, and contained government debt, an analysis found. [RenewEconomy]

Science and Technology:

¶ “This Marine Biologist Wants To Use The World’s Toughest Corals To Save Dying Reefs” • The Earth’s coral reefs support a quarter of the world’s marine life, but half of them are gone. Some scientists fear climate change could wipe out all of what is left of them by 2100, but marine biologist Emma Camp believes we can still save what remains. [CNN]

Emma Camp studying corals (© Franck Gazzola | Rolex)

¶ “Volocopter Opens World’s First Electric Air Taxi Flight Reservations” • Volocopter opened up reservations for the first commercial electric air taxi rides in an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. The “VoloFirst,” as the company is calling one of these planned rides, will cost about $300 and can be reserved for 10% of that, $30. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Regulator Says Corporate Demand Is To Push Australia Renewables To 30% By Year End” • According to a report from the Clean Energy Regulator, Australia is on track to increase its total share of renewable electricity generation to 30% by the end of 2020. The market for corporate power purchase agreements is a big driver for added capacity. [RenewEconomy]

Sheep and solar power (Neoen image)

¶ “Reaching Energy And Climate Goals Demands A Dramatic Scaling Up Of Clean Energy Technologies” • A major effort to develop and deploy clean energy is urgently needed to meet energy and climate goals, especially to reduce carbon emissions from such areas as transport, buildings, and industry, according to an IEA report. [Modern Diplomacy]

¶ “Scott Morrison’s ‘Gas-Led Recovery’: What Is It And Will It Really Make Energy Cheaper?” • Australia’s prime minister announced that expanding the use of gas natural beyond its use in electricity generation, for heating and as feedstock in some manufacturing, is central to plans to restore a strong economy after the coronavirus recession. [The Guardian]

Gas flare (Angus Mordant | Reuters)

¶ “GreenYellow Supplying More Renewable Power To Brazilian Telcos” • French energy solutions firm GreenYellow is expanding its renewable energy footprint in the Brazilian telecom industry. Telco Oi, based in Rio de Janeiro, signed a R$44 million ($8.38 million) contract with GreenYellow. The project includes leasing capacity from PV plants. [BNamericas English]

¶ “Excelsior Wind Farm Connects To South Africa’s Power Grid” • The 33-MW Excelsior wind farm, located in the Western Cape province, is now connected to the South African power grid, having commissioned its thirteen wind turbines. The developer, BioTherm Energy, noted that this is the first wind farm in the Western Cape. [ESI Africa]

Turbine in the Excelsior wind farm (BioTherm Energy image)

¶ “Renewable Energy In Chile Gets More Attractive With Its Major Capacity Build-Up During 2019-30, Says GlobalData” • The Chilean renewable capacity is around 47% of the capacity mix, with the rest being fossil fuels. Chile is expected to see a major increase in renewables by 2030, to reach over 70% of the capacity, says GlobalData. [InvestorIdeas.com]

US:

¶ “Hurricane Sally: Deadly Storm Leaves 550,000 Without Power In US” • Tropical Storm Sally has left more than half a million Americans without power as its torrential rains and storm surges lashed the US Gulf coast. The storm has brought “four months of rain in four hours” to Pensacola, Florida, that city’s fire chief Ginny Cranor told CNN. [BBC]

Overturned truck in Mobile, Alabama (Reuters image)

¶ “Some Of Glacier National Park’s Glaciers Have Lost As Much As 80% Of Their Size In The Last 50 Years” • Glacier National Park, one of America’s original 10 national parks, could lose its glaciers completely within decades. What would the park look like in the next century then, without the glaciers that feed the wildlife, farms and people who depend on it? [CNN]

¶ “General Motors To Produce Its Own Electric Drivetrain Components And Motors” • Tesla has bucked the conventional wisdom of the car industry by building many of the parts that go into its vehicles itself. Now GM says it wants to do the same thing with the electric vehicles it builds. Its Ultium brand will be on a number of drive trains. [CleanTechnica]

GM EVgo3 (General Motors image)

¶ “Scientific American Endorses A Presidential Candidate For First Time In Its 175 Year History” • Scientific American is the oldest continuously published magazine in the US. For 175 years, it has provided its readers with news and information about the world of science. It never allowed itself to stray into politics, until now. It endorsed Joe Biden. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Olivia Campbell-Andersen: Renewables Increase Resilience” • Here in Vermont, we spend around $1.5 billion per year to buy out-of-state fossil fuels. If we invested those dollars in efficient local renewable energy, Vermont families would net $323 million per year. This is the equivalent of every Vermonter saving $518 every year. [Brattleboro Reformer]

Have an inexpressibly awesome day.

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September 16 Energy News

September 16, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “US West Coast Fires: Is Trump Right To Blame Forest Management?” • President Trump has sought to highlight forest management rather than climate change as the key factor explaining the wildfires burning across California, Oregon, and Washington. But most of the forests in those states are owned by the federal government. [BBC]

First the fire, then grieving (Getty Images)

¶ “Renewable Energy Continues To Eat Away At Fossil Fuel Dominance” • Recent data and analyses suggest that renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power and increased penetration of EVs are becoming increasingly competitive with the dominant energy sources of the 20th century, oil, coal, and natural gas. [OilPrice.com]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Himalayan Invention Powered By Pine Needles” • In the western Himalayas, a local inventor discovered an unusual use for pine needles that is reviving the local economy, and the forest floor. Instead of being a fire hazzard and making the forest floor inhospitable to many species, the pine needles are providing jobs and generating electricity. [BBC]

Himalayan landscape (© Alamy)

¶ “The Climate Crisis Could Be Making Hurricane Sally Worse. Here’s How” • Scientists believe global warming is influencing hurricanes and making their impacts worse. And Hurricane Sally looks to be checking all their boxes. Hurricanes are intensifying faster, moving more slowly, and producing more rain than they had before climate change. [CNN]

World:

¶ “First Floating Solar Power Plant In Belgium Goes Up With 17,250 Floating Solar Panels” • The floating solar technology choice has been growing and growing, with both larger and larger plants and broader application, including geographically. The latest country to add a floating solar power plant is Belgium, home of the European Commission. [CleanTechnica]

New floating PV plant in Belgium (Photo courtesy of Sibelco)

¶ “The World Set A 2020 Deadline To Save Nature But Not A Single Target Was Met, UN Report Says” • In 2010, leaders from 196 countries gathered together in Japan and agreed on the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, goals to save the Earth. We’ve reached the deadline, and the world has collectively failed to fully achieve a single goal, a report from the UN says. [CNN]

¶ “Sudan: Unlocking Renewable Energy To Expand Energy Access” • The UN Development Programme released a roadmap to unlock the potential of Sudan’s renewable energy and expand energy access. The roadmap was developed through a series of consultations organised by the UNDP, which were requested by the Republic of Sudan. [ESI Africa]

Solar power in Sudan (Image: UNDP)

¶ “Federal Government Fast Tracks Three Energy Projects” • The Australian Federal Government has fast-tracked three energy projects: Marinus Link, Project Energy Connect interconnector, and Victoria to New South Wales Interconnector. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said they would creating over 5,000 jobs, reduce prices, and keep the grid reliable. [Energy Magazine]

¶ “Scottish Green Hydrogen Scheme Gears Up To Fuel Ferries, Buses And Trains” • Scottish Power’s wind and solar farms will soon help produce green hydrogen to run buses, ferries, and even trains as part of a pioneering strategic partnership to develop the UK’s nascent hydrogen economy. Hydrogen can be used in place of natural gas. [The Guardian]

Whitelee windfarm (Photo: Murdo MacLeod | The Guardian)

¶ “Mike Cannon-Brookes Ready To Take On PM’s Energy Challenge – Without A Gas-Fired Plant” • After Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Government would pursue a gas-fired power station unless the energy industry came up with a way to generate 1,000 MW of power, Mike Cannon-Brookes said he could do that, without natural gas. [ABC News]

¶ “Hitachi Scraps Plans For £20 Billion Nuclear Power Plant At Wylfa Newydd On Anglesey” • Plans for a £20 billion nuclear power plant on Anglesey in north Wales have been scrapped, the developers behind the project have confirmed. Horizon Nuclear Power said it will cease its activities to develop a project at Wylfa Newydd. [ITV News]

Nuclear plant (Credit: ITV Wales)

US:

¶ “What’s The Secret Sauce Behind New “Forever” Solar Panels?” • Violet Power, a startup based in Oregon, looks to build the first modern, integrated PV factory in the US, producing both solar components and finished solar panels instead of relying on imported components. The company said it will back its PVs with by a 50-year warranty. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Duke University Buys 101 MW Of Solar From Duke Energy” • Under the terms of a deal with Duke Energy, Duke University will purchase roughly 101 MW of solar capacity from three solar facilities in North Carolina. That power, combined with other efforts, is projected to result in a 69% reduction in the university’s carbon emissions by 2022. [pv magazine USA]

Duke University (Duke University image)

¶ “Minnesota Clean Cars Will Save Money & Cut Pollution, New Study Shows” • An independent consultant report confirmed that Minnesota’s efforts to adopt a clean cars program will cut air pollution significantly, benefit public health, and save consumers money. The study is a step for Minnesota to join 14 other states that have clean cars programs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Developer Turns Sod On 200 MW Of Texas Storage” • Broad Reach Power has started constructing 200 MW of battery storage capacity in Texas. The two 100-MW projects will supply power in the ERCOT wholesale power market. BRP expects to have a total of 100 MW online in the state by year-end and 350 MW online in 2021. [reNEWS]

Have a stupendously useful day.

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September 15 Energy News

September 15, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Atlantic Remains Busy As Sally Gets Stronger” • There were five named storms in the Atlantic on Monday before Rene dissapated. This is only the second time on record this has happened. Hurricane Sally strengthened Monday evening to a Category 2 hurricane as it makes its way towards a landfall late Tuesday or early Wednesday. [WLTX]

Messy weather (Credit: WLTX)

¶ “Reducing Emissions From Cement And Steel Production” • Combined, the cement and steel industries, both central to the construction industry, produce about 15% of the world’s CO₂ emissions. The opportunities to lower the amount of CO₂ they create are significant. Fortunately, leaders in both industries are finding new ways to do that. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Where Does The Heat Go?” • Reporting in the journal Earth System Science Data, the group of over 30 researchers from world scientific institutions tracked and quantified global heat storage from 1960 to 2018 to answer the question, “Where does the heat go?” The new study represents the most accurate, state-of-the-art heat inventory study to date. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

World:

¶ “Green Paradox: Green New Deal To Boost Kepco’s Role In Renewable Energy Market” • The ruling Democratic Party of Korea recently prepared a bill to allow Korea Power Corp to directly generate electricity with renewable energy sources as part of ways to foster President Moon Jae-in’s Green New Deal initiative. [The Korea Herald]

¶ “Lithuanian Crew Selects Ocean Winds For Offshore Bid” • Lithuanian energy company Ignitis Group selected Engie and EDPR joint venture Ocean Winds as a strategic partner to develop up to 700 MW of offshore wind farms off the coast of Lithuania. The partners plan to participate in the first auctions for offshore wind in Lithuania. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind construction (EDPR image)

¶ “Google To Create Easier Renewable Power Purchase Pathways” • Google, in a recent update on its climate action efforts, revealed that it aims to run all of its data centers and corporate campuses worldwide on entirely carbon-free power by 2030. It said it has brought its lifetime net carbon footprint to zero by using “high-quality” carbon offsets. [pv magazine International]

¶ “DNV GL To Lead UK Offshore Grid Project” • National Grid ESO has picked DNV GL to lead an offshore transmission project in the UK. The Offshore Coordination Project aims to “advise and shape the future national strategy” to develop the offshore grid in Great Britain. The UK has an installed capacity of over 10 GW of offshore windpower. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Nicholas Doherty | Unsplash)

¶ “Renewable Energy Surges In EU Power Mix On Trajectory To Reach 60% By 2030” • Renewable energy’s share of the power generation mix across the EU surged by almost 10 percentage points to 40% during the first half of 2020, and it could reach as much as 60% by the end of the decade, according to European utility federation Eurelectric. [Recharge]

¶ “China Ditches US Nuclear Technology In Favour Of Home-Grown Alternative” • China has switched from the American AP1000 nuclear technology, designed by Westinghouse Electric Company, to Hualong One, a domestically developed alternative. This comes as worries over geopolitical uncertainties and energy security increase. [South China Morning Post]

Chinese nuclear reactor (Photo: Xinhua)

US:

¶ “Trump Baselessly Questions Climate Science During California Wildfire Briefing” • President Trump asserted that climate change is not playing a role in the catastrophic wildfires overtaking forests across the west, contradicting an official briefing him who pleaded with him to listen to the science. He said the main problem is forest management. [CNN]

¶ “Renewables Sector Saw Gradual Job Growth In August, With Employment Still 14% Below Pre-Pandemic Levels” • The clean energy sector continues to feel the pain of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the economy, adding just 13,600 jobs in August. Overall losses since the pandemic’s start hover just under half a million at 490,341. [Morning Consult]

Work at a solar farm (Getty Images)

¶ “Climate Change Denier Hired For Top Position At NOAA” • David Legates, a University of Delaware professor of climatology who has rejected the scientific consensus that human activity is causing climate change, confirmed with NPR this weekend that he was hired as NOAA’s deputy assistant secretary of commerce for observation and prediction. [Yahoo News]

¶ “Groups Say Duke Energy’s 15-Year Plan Fails To Lower Costs, Address Climate Change” • Environmental and social justice groups say a new 15-year energy plan filed this month by Duke Energy doesn’t do enough to keep down costs for low-income customers or to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy. [WFAE]

Duke Energy natural gas plant (Duke Energy image)

¶ “Daimler To Pay $1.5 Billion Over Emissions Cheat Claims In US” • German carmaker Daimler, which owns Mercedes-Benz, has agreed to pay $1.5 billion (£1.2 billion) to resolve the US government’s claims that it designed its diesel vehicles to cheat air pollution tests. US officials said they hoped the fine would deter future misbehaviour. [BBC]

¶ “Report: 47 US States Could Meet 100% Of Electricity Needs Using In-State Renewables” • A report from the ILSR, “Energy Self-Reliant States 2020: The Third Edition,” has mapped out the state-by-state renewable generation potential of rooftop solar, onshore and offshore wind, conventional geothermal, and small hydro. [CleanTechnica]

Have a magnificently happy day.

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September 14 Energy News

September 14, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Applying the Pareto Principle: Conversion of Commercial Transportation to Reduce Effects of Climate Change” • With a commitment to just 20% of a set of clean practices, it is possible to reduce a carbon footprint by 80%. That’s what’s known as the Pareto principle. If we apply that to commercial transportation, it could make a big difference. [CleanTechnica]

Port of Barcelona (Andy Mitchell, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “United In Science 2020 Report: Climate Change Has Not Stopped For Covid-19” • Covid-19 has not slowed climate change. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are at record levels and are increasing. Emissions are heading toward pre-pandemic levels following a temporary decline caused by the lockdown and economic slowdown. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NREL Scientists Estimate Global Potential Of Hydro-Linked Floating PV At Up To 7.5 TW” • Researchers at the US National Renewable Energy Lab said that linking solar with hydro in full hybrid systems may result in deployment of up to 7,593 GW for an estimated annual power generation of 10,616 TWh with a 20% reservoir coverage. [pv magazine International]

Hydro site

World:

¶ “Climate change: Warmth shatters section of Greenland ice shelf” • A big chunk of ice has broken away from the Arctic’s largest remaining ice shelf – 79N, or Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden – in north-eastern Greenland. The ejected section covers about 110 square km. “The atmosphere in this region has warmed by about 3°C since 1980,” said Dr Jenny Turton. [BBC]

¶ “Nordex Installs First N149/5.X Turbine” • Nordex has installed the first of its next-generation 5-MW series turbine near Potsdam at the Genshagener Heide wind farm. Mean wind speeds are 6.4 m/s at the hub height, making  the site good for testing the 5.7-MW turbine. Nordex said the N149/5.X unit will start operation on schedule this month. [reNEWS]

Nordex turbine (Nordex image)

¶ “BP Says Oil Demand May Have Peaked Already” • BP Plc said the relentless growth of oil demand is over. This makes it the first supermajor to call the end of an era many thought would last for another decade or more. Oil consumption may never return to levels seen before Covid-19 crisis took hold, BP said in a report that breaks from orthodoxy. [Energy Voice]

¶ “I don’t know why they don’t get it.’ Lynham laments Taylor blindspot on renewables” • Queensland state energy minister Dr Anthony Lytham says Australia’s states and territories all agree that the future of Australia lies in renewable energy, and he can’t understand why the federal government is the only one that does not accept it. [RenewEconomy]

Angus Taylor at meeting (Richard Wainwright | AAP)

¶ “Australia’s Renewable Power Generation Set To Overtake Fossil Fuels” • Renewables are set to overtake coal and gas as Australia’s main source of electricity generation, analysis from Rystad Energy says. It says demand for coal and gas for power has peaked, with solar and wind to overtake both fossil fuels for power generation by 2026. [Upstream Online]

¶ “Ireland To Miss 2030 Clean Power Goal” • Ireland will fail to meet its target of 70% renewable energy by 2030 because its planning system is “broken,” a report says. “Building Onshore Wind,” published by the Irish Wind Energy Association, called for urgent changes to reform the planning system and boost the post-Covid economy. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Image: Irish Wind Energy Association)

¶ “16-Meter Seawall Planned For Fukushima Daiichi” • The operator of the damaged nuclear power plant in Fukushima plans to build a taller seawall to help protect against future high seismic sea waves. The move comes in response to the projection made in April by a government panel on the scale of a potential future tsunami. [NHK World]

¶ “Investors That Manage $47 Trillion Demand World’s Biggest Polluters Back Plan For Net-Zero Emissions” • Climate Action 100+, which represents investors that manage assets totalling over $47 Trillion, has demanded the world’s biggest corporate polluters back strategies to reach net-zero emissions and, it promised to hold them to public account. [The Guardian]

Extinction Rebellion (Barcroft Media | Getty Images)

US:

¶ “US West Coast fires: Wind warning prompts fears of further spread” • The US National Weather Service has issued a “red flag warning” for areas of the West Coast, as high winds threaten to spread devastating wildfires still further. Gusts of up to 40 mph (64 km/h) are expected in parts of southern Oregon, with no rain. Fires have been raging for three weeks. [BBC]

¶ “The Mosquito Apocalypse And The Aftermath Of Hurricane Laura” • The aftermath of Hurricane Laura continues for many in Louisiana. Now, they are dealing with a mosquito apocalypse, while Louisiana has been all but forgotten by the national media. Walt Handelsman, a cartoonist for The Advocate, a Baton Rouge paper, shared an image. [CleanTechnica]

Walt Handelsman cartoon

¶ “Correction: Solar Power Equaled 37% Of New US Power Capacity In 1st Half Of 2020” • Last week’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission report on new generating capacity does not include small installations, such as home systems. Now, we have a report that includes those. It shows 37% of H1 installations were solar. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Connecticut Targets Lower Income Buyers With New Clean Vehicle Subsidies” • Connecticut has drafted its Electric Vehicle Roadmap. It gives more residents than ever incentives for buying an EV. The draft is an attempt to find a best way to incorporate used vehicles into its existing program, and it also is to attract purchasers who have limited means. [CleanTechnica]

Have a swimmingly copacetic  day.

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September 13 Energy News

September 13, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Five Key Reasons To Stop The Mountain Valley Pipeline” • It’s time to stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline and its dangerous attempts to transport dirty fracked gas across Appalachia. This massive dirty energy project would  jeopardize sensitive rivers and streams, drinking water sources, the climate, and people in local communities. [CleanTechnica]

Blue Ridge Mountains (Ken Thomas, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Is BP Finally Committing To Ambitious Climate Action? Or Is It About To Fool Us Twice?” • BP plans to unveil more details its climate strategy at a virtual investor meeting on September 14th. The company’s history of false-starts on climate action and misleading clean energy advertising provides plenty of fodder for justified skepticism. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Think 2020’s Disasters Are Wild? Experts See Worse In The Future” • Freak natural disasters seem to be everywhere in the crazy year 2020. And most of them have what scientists say is a likely climate change connection. But experts say we’ll probably look back and say those were the good old days, when disasters weren’t so wild. [Patch.com]

Firefighter battling the Creek Fire (Noah Berger | AP, File)

¶ “We Can’t Wait Any Longer To Eliminate Fossil Fuels And Convert To Renewables” • South Korea’s recent record-breaking monsoon season, a slew of powerful typhoons, and Covid-19 all point to the same thing: Climate change has reached a critical stage where it can no longer be ignored. We need to address this crisis. [The Hankyoreh]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Kites Of Renewable Energy Generate Wind Power By Flying Through The Air” • A German startup is bringing kites to green energy production by building small flying wind turbines that use a tenth of the material at half the cost of traditional options. The kite has small onboard wind turbines and finds where to fly by using smart algorithms. [Good News Network]

Kite with wind turbines (KiteKraft image)

¶ “Why Wildfire Smoke May Be Harming Your Health” • Rising up to 14 miles (23 km) into the air, well into the stratosphere, plumes of smoke from large wildfires can spread all over the globe thanks to air currents. Its tiny particles can penetrate lung membranes when inhaled, damaging the respiratory system and passing into the blood stream. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Indian Solar Module Manufacturer Lands $105 Million US Order” • Waaree Energies reported that it has landed an order to supply 300 MW of solar modules from an undisclosed American solar company. These modules will be used at a project that is being developed in California. The project is expected to be fully commissioned by late next year. [CleanTechnica]

Solar panels in India (Prashanthns, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Adani Green Says It Is On Track To Have 25 GW Of Capacity By 2025” • Adani Green Energy currently has 14 GW of projects that are operational, awarded, or under development. Adani Green reported consolidated net profit of ₹21.75 crore ($3.269 million) in the June quarter, as against a loss of ₹97.44 crore in the same quarter a year ago. [EnergyInfraPost]

¶ “UAE’s Abu Dhabi To Produce A Third Of Its Power From Clean Energy In Four Years” • Abu Dhabi, an oil-rich emirate in the UAE, plans to get a third of its power from “clean energy,” including nuclear reactors, in four years, a government official said. The country will diversify its energy mix and frees up oil and gas for export. [S&P Global]

Abu Dhabi (Davide Mauro, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Australian Youngsters Take Legal Action To Stop Coal Mine Expansion” • A group of young Australians filed a lawsuit in the name of all children to block a coal mine’s expansion. The case argues that Australia’s Environment Minister, Sussan Ley, has a legal duty to protect young people, and so she should reject the expansion proposal. [VOA Learning English]

US:

¶ “28 People Have Been Killed And Dozens More Are Missing As Fires Ravage The West Coast” • Deadly wildfires have blanketed swaths of the states on the West Coast with unhealthy smoke, complicating the efforts to fight the blazes and find dozens of missing people, and compounding the misery of thousands who have been displaced. [CNN]

Fighting wildfires in the West (Nic Coury | AP)

¶ “Elon Musk Explains Why Tesla Solar Power Is So Cheap” • While researching the falling costs of solar power, I was struck to see that the average cost of a rooftop solar power system in the US is $2.19/watt, but Tesla is now offering rooftop solar power for $1.49/watt across the country. So, I asked Tesla CEO Elon Musk about it. And he told me. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Lease A 2020 Chevy Bolt From Costco For Just $154 A Month” • Savvy US shoppers can now lease a new 2020 Chevy Bolt for as little as $154 a month through COSTCO. There are terms and conditions, of course, but if you qualify you could be driving an electric car for less than what some people pay to fill their cars with gas each month. [CleanTechnica]

Chevy Bolt (Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Solar Energy Helps Power Oil Field Service Provider At Local Halliburton Facility” • A solar array being built at oil field services giant Halliburton’s local headquarters in Kern Co, California, is the latest sign of conventional and renewable energy coming together. The 1.6-MW solar array is to provide power for the facility. [The Bakersfield Californian]

¶ “Despite Efforts, Trump Fails To Turn Coal Fortunes” • Pres Trump spent more than $1 billion in taxpayer funds, rolled back environmental rules, and tried to stop power plant closings to fulfill a vow he made to West Virginia coal miners in the 2016 campaign. But US coal production is expected to be down 31% this year from 2016 levels. [Beckley Register-Herald]

Have an unfashionably perfect day.

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September 12 Energy News

September 12, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Should Food’s Environmental Damage Be Included In Its Purchase Cost?” • What would food cost if its environmental damage were to be factored into its actual retail price? If grocers and manufacturers took into account the environmental impact of meat, milk, cheese, and other foods, they would actually cost much more than they do. [CleanTechnica]

Farm at Green School in Bali (Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “For Nuclear Plants Operating On Thin Margins, Growing Climate Risks Prompt Tough Choices” • It is becoming clear that the relationship between nuclear power and climate change is a two-way street: While nuclear’s role in the energy mix can decrease CO₂ emissions, consequences of climate change are influencing nuclear power itself. [Utility Dive]

World:

¶ “Baidu Launches Apollo Go Robotaxis In Beijing, Cangzhou, And Changsha” • The Apollo Go Robotaxi service is the first robotaxi service to operate in Beijing. It’s not a door-to-door service, but has 100 pickup/drop-off locations. The service was first launched in Changsha, on Earth Day, April 20. It also began operations in Cangzhou in August. [CleanTechnica]

Baidu Apollo Go King Long Minibus

¶ “France To Invest Over $35 Billion To Boost The Economy Through Renewables” • France announced its plans to invest €100 billion ($118.4 billion) to restore the economy after the damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. As part of its “France Relance” plan, the government allocated €30 billion ($35.51 billion) for green energy. [Mercom India]

¶ “Shanghai Electric Wind Power Orders Soar 505%” • Shanghai Electric reported orders for wind power equipment were up over 505% in the first six months of 2020, compared with the same period last year. The company signed a licensing agreement with Siemens Gamesa in 2018 to produce and sell the latter’s 8.0-167 DD turbine in China. [reNEWS]

Shanghai Electric wind turbine (Shanghai Electric image)

¶ “The Tiny Central American Nation With Big Renewable Energy Plans” • El Salvador will take a leading role in renewable energy development as it accelerates plans to wean itself off fossil fuels and hydropower, a senior official said. Geothermal energy will be a major area of focus, as El Salvador aims to be a “training center” for Latin America. [BNamericas English]

¶ “‘Turning A Brown Site To Green’ – Communities Are A Focus Of The Latest Renewable Energy Scheme” • The final results of Ireland’s first Renewable Electricity Support Scheme auction have been announced. It will result in support being provided for the development of 63 onshore solar farms and 19 wind farms across the country. [Agriland]

Irish wind farm (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Germany, Australia Ink Green Hydrogen Alliance” • Germany and Australia signed an agreement to carry out a feasibility study of potentials for closer collaboration and future development of a hydrogen supply chain between the two countries. The study will compare current technology and research supply chain readiness levels, among other things. [reNEWS]

¶ “Japanese Energy Giants Join Offshore Wind Project” • Japan Renewable Energy Corporation announced that Tohoku Electric Power Co and ENEOS Corporation agreed to invest in the Happo Noshiro offshore wind project. The project aims to construct and operate offshore wind turbines with a combined capacity of 155 MW off Akita Prefecture. [4C Offshore]

Hywind turbine (Lars Christopher, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Solar Power Was 60% of New US Power Capacity in June” • In June, 60.1% of all new power generating capacity added in the US was solar power plants. Another 37.5% was wind power plants. And 2.4% was hydropower. A quick look at the math on that shows that 100% of new power capacity came from renewable energy sources in June. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Fires Raging Out West Are Unprecedented. They’re Also A Mere Preview Of What Climate Change Has In Store” • Over 3 million acres have burned in California. Three of the five largest fires in state history are burning now, as are huge swaths of Oregon and Washington. In most years, this would be when the fire season gets active. [CNN]

Fire coloring everything (Photo: Eric Risberg | AP)

¶ “US Hydroelectric Generation To Increase In 2020 Despite Drought Conditions” • The Pacific Northwest, generated 47% of US hydroelectric power in the first half of 2020. Most stations in the eastern half of the Columbia River basin reported 70% to 130% of normal precipitation, and some stations in the western half have reported less than 50%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Engineer Investigates Use Of Navy Ships For Emergency Power” • Disasters such as hurricanes and tropical storms can cut electric power to coastal communities for days or weeks. But a University of Texas at Dallas engineer is working to create large-scale mobile marine microgrids aboard US Navy ships to provide power in emergencies. [University of Texas at Dallas]

PCU Virginia (US Navy photo, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “US Showers Tiny Wind Turbines With Big Love” • A recent development for the turbine cost-cutting is that NREL selected seven US wind firms for funding through its Competitiveness Improvement Project. The CIP funding will enable a Vermont company, Star Wind, to take steps toward certifying its uniquely styled 45 kW turbine. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “8minute Secures PV Plus Storage PPA In California” • 8minute Solar Energy is to sell electricity from the 400-MW Rexford 1 solar+storage project in California to the Clean Power Alliance under a 15-year agreement. The project in Tulare County will also include 180 MW of energy storage, so it can deliver energy to the grid day or night. [reNEWS]

Have an incomprehensibly glorious day.

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September 11 Energy News

September 11, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Should People Be Prevented From Living In Fire And Flood Prone Areas?” • A recent survey by Bo MacInnis and Jon Krosnick on behalf of Resources For The Future finds there is broad public support for doing something about natural disasters. According to the New York Times, 57% of those surveyed support making it illegal to build in risky areas. [CleanTechnica]

Quechee Vermont (Stephen Flanders, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Could Exxon Be … Running Out Of Cash?!” • Could Exxon be running out of cash? An article by Yahoo! Finance reported that ExxonMobil Corp faces a $48 billion shortfall through next year. This year alone, Exxon needed to borrow $23 billion to pay its bills. Instead of expanding as planned, Exxon is now reviewing where it can cut expenses. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “South Korea’s Green New Deal Shows The World What A Smart Economic Recovery Looks Like” • As Covid-19 devastates the global economy, there’s an opportunity for governments to support a green-led recovery. Some countries, such as South Korea, are using the crisis to kickstart economic growth that is environmentally sustainable. [UNSW Newsroom]

Wind turbines in South Korea (Yonhap | AAP)

¶ “Managing Climate Risk in the US Financial System” • The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s report on climate risk to the US economy is a first of-its-kind effort from a US government entity. Approved in subcommittee by a 34-0 vote, including representatives from banks and oil giants, it calls for urgent action on climate change. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Remarkable Floating Gardens Of Bangladesh” • Much of Bangladesh is prone to floods and waterlogging, and agriculture suffers from floods. In one part of Bangladesh, a traditional method of cultivation uses floating vegetable gardens. Now farmers are reviving this old practice to reduce the vulnerability they have from climate change. [BBC]

Garden rafts (©Fahmida Akter)

¶ “Scientists Predict Heavy Flood Events In The Sierra Nevada Will Become More Extreme Under Future Climate Warming” • California is on track to get drier over the coming decades. But in a new study, researchers at UC Santa Barbara and UCLA warn that flooding potential associated with extreme precipitation events is set to increase sharply. [YubaNet]

World:

¶ “Tens of thousands of fires are pushing the Amazon to a tipping point” • Fires continue to rage at high levels through the Amazon in Brazil for the second year in a row, raising concerns among scientists that the rainforest’s destruction could eventually reach a point of no return. And the government of Brazil is doing little to curb illegal fires. [CNN]

Fire in the Amazon (Christian Braga | Greenpeace)

¶ “MG5 Touring Wagon With 214 Mile Range Available In UK Q4 2020 For Under £24,000” • MG Motor will bring the MG5 full battery electric touring wagon to the UK starting from the fourth quarter 2020. With a WLTP rated range of 214 miles, and an excellent 7 year warranty, the price of £23,995 (after incentives) seems like a great value. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mega-Projects And Mini-Prices: Latin American Renewables Tipped For Huge Growth” • Analysts at Rystad Energy expect Latin America renewable energy capacity to more than double as soon as 2025. They say power prices are dropping, in some areas to below $25/MWh, and they expect auctions to move forward in most countries despite Covid-19. [Recharge]

Wind farm

¶ “One Of The Oldest LNG Deals Is Unraveling” • An agreement almost 50 years old for Japanese utilities to buy Indonesian fuel is set to expire at the end of this year. At least one of six Japanese utilities in a buyers’ consortium won’t renew its contract, and others may join it. There is a glut of natural gas and nuclear reactors are restarting in Japan. [Rigzone]

US:

¶ “With PPA Signed, Geothermal Project In Unalaska, Alaska Moving Ahead” • Chena Power and Ounalashka Corp, an Alaska Native village corporation, have signed a 30-year power purchase agreement for the planned 30 MW Makushin geothermal power plant in Unalaska, a fishing community. The developer hopes the plant will be online in 2023. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

View of Unalaska (umnak, creative commons | flickr)

¶ “BP Invests In Offshore Wind To Power 2 Million American Homes” • BP is moving into offshore windpower for the first time with a $1.1 billion investment in the US. BP plans to make major investments into bioenergy, hydrogen, and carbon capture and storage. It aims to raise $25 billion by selling oil and gas assets over the next five years. [CNN]

¶ “Oregon Wildfires: Half A Million People Flee Dozens Of Infernos” • More than half a million people in Oregon are fleeing deadly wildfires that are raging across the Pacific Northwest, authorities say. Governor Kate Brown said at least four fatalities have been confirmed. More than 100 wildfires are currently scorching 12 western US states. [BBC]

A girl and her bike (Reuters image)

¶ “US Energy Department And Other Federal Agencies Launch the Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries” • The US DOE, Department of Commerce, Defense Department, and State Department launched the Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries to speed development of a robust, secure, domestic industrial base for advanced batteries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Walmart and Schneider Electric Announce Groundbreaking Collaboration To Help Suppliers Access Renewable Energy” • Walmart Inc and Schneider Electric announced a collaboration called the Gigaton PPA Program. It will provide increased access to renewable energy for Walmart’s US-based suppliers, enabling them to lead on climate action. [StreetInsider.com]

Have a thoroughly satisfactory day.

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September 10 Energy News

September 10, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “While Trump Commission Warns Of Climate Risk To Financial System, Recommendations ‘Fall Short Of Direct, Immediate Action’ Required” • Climate campaigners welcomed a federal report showing dangers of the human-caused planetary emergency pose to the US financial system. But they warned that it falls short in its recommendations. [Common Dreams]

Firefighters (David Arkush via Twitter)

¶ “Natural Gas Is Losing Its Luster As A “Bridge Fuel” To Renewable Energy” • A few years ago, natural gas was hailed as vital for a transition toward an economy that runs on renewable energy. But sentiment is changing and the fuel is going the same way as coal, its dirtier sibling shunned by governments, utilities and investors. [WorldOil]

¶ “After 2011 Disaster, Fukushima Embraced Solar Power. The Rest Of Japan Has Not” • A wave of enthusiasm for renewable energy followed the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Nuclear power, which once produced nearly a third of Japan’s electricity, ground to a halt. The people who lived in Fukushima have not forgotten, and some have built solar arrays. [Iowa Public Radio]

Solar array on damaged land

Science and Technology:

¶ “Wildlife In ‘Catastrophic Decline’ Due To Human Destruction, Scientists Warn” • Wildlife populations have fallen by over two-thirds in less than 50 years, a major report by the conservation group WWF says. It warns that “catastrophic decline” shows no sign of slowing, and nature is being destroyed by humans at a rate never seen before. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Tesla Puts Emphasis On Becoming An Electricity Supplier In Germany” • Tesla conducted a survey in Germany to find out if its customers would be interested in a plan that would allow the company to tap some of the electricity stored in the batteries in their cars and feed it back into the grid, making sure they have enough range for their needs. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla virtual power plant in South Australia (Tesla image)

¶ “EDF Renewables Turns Sod On 87-MW Taza Phase 1” • EDF Renewables and its Japanese partner Mitsui began construction of the 87-MW first phase of the Taza wind project in Morocco. Phase one, consisting of 27 wind turbines, will enter service in early 2022. EDF Renewables and Mitsui will both retain interests in the project. [reNEWS]

¶ “Election 2020: Labour Pledges 100% Renewable Power By 2030” • The Labour Party aims to make 100% of New Zealand’s electricity generation renewable by 2030, five years ahead of the current Government target. If elected, it will ban construction of coal or gas power plants, boost solar power, and speed renewable energy projects. [Stuff.co.nz]

New Zealand hydro dam

¶ “Retiring Old Coal Plants Could Save ₹53,000 Crore For Power Distributors” • If 54 coal plants that are 20 years or older, located in 11 states, could be shut down over the next two years, it would yield savings of up to ₹53,000 crore ($7.2 billion) over five years for the states’ electricity distribution companies, an analysis by Climate Risk Horizon says. [IndiaSpend]

¶ “GE Scoops 157-MW Austrian Turbine Deal” • GE Renewable Energy was selected by the Püspök Group to provide turbines for two wind farms in Burgenland, Austria. They have a total 157 MW capacity. The deal will have 30 GE Cypress machines with 158 meter rotors installed at the repowering projects, and it includes a multi-year service contract. [reNEWS]

GE turbine (GE image)

US:

¶ “BP Joins Financiers In Call For US To Tax Greenhouse Gas Emissions” • The US government should start making businesses pay for their greenhouse gas emissions to help combat global warming, according to a powerful group of finance and energy titans. The businesses include Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and BP. [WorldOil]

¶ “Trump Courts Florida Voters With Moratorium On Offshore Drilling” • President Trump expanded a moratorium on drilling off Florida’s coast in an attempt to court voters in a must-win battleground state. He said he would block drilling in coastal Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, and painted himself as an environmentalist. [MSN Money]

Offshore oil rig (© iStock)

¶ “Charleston Sues 24 Fossil Fuel Companies For The Costs Of Surviving Climate Change” • The third anniversary of Hurricane Irma’s flooding that devastated Charleston is approaching, and now officials have filed a lawsuit in South Carolina state court to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for the costs of adapting to the impacts of climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Developer Signs PPAs To Power Facebook Data Center” • DE Shaw Renewable Investments has signed PPAs with Facebook to power its Eagle Mountain Data Center with energy supplied from its Rocket and Horseshoe Solar projects in Utah. The new projects are expected to generate a total 155 MW, through PPAs with Rocky Mountain Power. [reNEWS]

Solar array (American Public Power Association | Unsplash)

¶ “As Historic Heatwaves Cook California, Tesla Activates Its Distributed Army To Save The Grid” • Tesla enabled its fleet of deployed Powerwalls in affected areas of California to charge up from the grid by activating the Storm Watch function on the Powerwall in advance of the rolling blackouts that slammed California over the last two weeks. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “FERC Order On NYISO Proposal Again Draws Future Of Capacity Market Into Question” • A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission order rejecting the New York grid operator’s efforts to accommodate the state’s aggressive climate goals has added to tensions that could sway the state to take back resource adequacy responsibility. [S&P Global]

Have an unusually flawless day.

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September 9 Energy News

September 9, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Trickle Of Green Hydrogen Turns Into Flood Of Good News For Renewables” • Wind and solar developers are eyeballing green hydrogen as a pathway for future growth, and it looks like they won’t have to depend on the transportation sector for sole support. Hydrogen has many other uses, aside from being used to power fuel cell EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Shipping turbine blades (Infinite Blue Energy)

¶ “Thwaites: ‘Doomsday Glacier’ Vulnerability Seen In New Maps” • Antarctica’s colossal Thwaites Glacier is melting at a rapid rate, dumping billions of tons of ice in the ocean every year. A UK-US team surveyed the deep seafloor channels in front of the glacier that almost certainly provide the access for the warm water that is melting it. [BBC]

¶ “The Buildings Warmed By The Human Body” • The building at Number 2 Rue de Beaubourg in Paris looks modest. Though you wouldn’t know it from the outside, it nevertheless has an unusual design. Since 2015, the building has been drawing its warmth from the hustle and bustle of human body heat in a nearby metro station. [BBC]

Building on Rue de Beaubourg (Credit: Paris Habitat)

World:

¶ “Uber Says It Will Offer Rides Only In Electric Vehicles In US, Europe By 2030” • Uber plans to offer rides exclusively in EVs by 2030 in US, Canadian, and European cities, and be entirely free of emissions by 2040. Uber also issued a report acknowledging that its vehicles are less climate efficient than the average vehicle because of the way they are used. [CNN]

¶ “The Volta Zero Electric Truck – Targeting 2022 Production” • Volta Trucks is showing off what it calls “the world’s first purpose-built full-electric 16-tonne commercial vehicle.” It was designed for urban deliveries. The first pilot trucks are due for sometime in the first half of 2021, and real production and deliveries are scheduled to start in 2022. [CleanTechnica]

Volta Zero commercial electric delivery truck in London

¶ “Why Germany May Pull Plug On Russian Pipeline” • “I hope the Russians don’t force us to change our position on Nord Stream 2,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said, as the row with Moscow intensified over the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. The pipeline is contravercial because it increases German dependence on Russia. [BBC]

¶ “Australia’s Largest Solar Garden Offers “Plots” For 333 “Solar Gardeners”” • Australia is a top country in terms of rooftop solar power adoption, but even in Australia, an estimated 35% of the population is unable to install rooftop solar power. The news this week on this topic is that Australia is about to launch its largest community solar garden. [CleanTechnica]

Community solar gardeners (Haystacks Solar Garden image)

¶ “Equinor, JERA and J-Power target Japan offshore” • J-Power, JERA, and Equinor have joined forces to submit a joint bid for offshore wind power projects in Japan. The three companies believe that by bringing together their respective expertise, they will be able to build world-class offshore wind power generation projects. [reNEWS]

¶ “Study Explores Feasibility Of North India’s Transition To 100% Renewable Energy” • A study by Finland’s Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology and Delhi-based Climate Trends found it is technically and financially feasible for North India to switch to renewable energy by 2050 completely. The change would see 2 million additional jobs. [PV Magazine India]

Solar array and flower (gerhardt12 | Pixabay)

¶ “Portugal Is No Longer Extracting Fossil Fuels After Canceling Two Remaining Contracts” • Portugal’s last two fossil fuel extraction contracts were just canceled, meaning the European country is officially no longer drilling for oil and gas. This is definitely exciting news, but it doesn’t mean that Portugal is entirely free of fossil fuels. [Green Matters]

US:

¶ “Trump Admin Document Reportedly Warns of Financial Disaster of Climate Change” • In the report, “Managing Climate Risk in the Financial System,” the authors forecast that business-as usual emissions will cause immense chaos in US financial markets. The report came from president Trump’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission. [New York Magazine]

Flood damage in Iowa (Getty Images)

¶ “General Motors To Manufacture Nikola Badger As Part Of New Strategic Partnership” • Nikola Motor and GM are forming a new strategic partnership. For a $2 billion equity stake in Nikola and the right to nominate one director to the Nikola board, GM will engineer, validate, and manufacture the battery and fuel cell variants of the Nikola Badger. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “California Wildfires: Fire Chief Says Dozens Of Major Blazes Have State In ‘Dire Situation'” • The chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Thom Porter, said the 25 large wildfires raging in his state after an extreme heat wave made the situation “dire.” Many fires will be “uncontrollable until we have a weather change.” [CNN]

Fire in wine country (Noah Berger | AP)

¶ “California Offshore Winds Show Promise As Power Source” • As California aims to provide 60% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 and 100% by 2045, a study from California Polytechnic State University provides some good news. Offshore winds along the Central Coast increase in the evening, the same time of day that more energy is needed. [Science Daily]

¶ “How Duke’s Unique Energy Landscape Dictates Its Path to Net Zero” • Duke Energy will pursue its unique path to net zero carbon emissions. Among its options are some that are largely untested in the US, such as offshore wind power, and the next-generation small modular nuclear reactors, which have yet to be proven in any market. [Greentech Media]

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September 8 Energy News

September 8, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Listen Up! Dr. James Hansen Has A Message For The Citizens Of Earth” • Dr James Hansen sent an email about a paper on the Earth’s energy imbalance. The Earth has an energy imbalance of 0.75 ± 0.25 W/m2. That number, while small, is equivalent to the heat of 400,000 nuclear explosions like the one at Hiroshima – every day! [CleanTechnica]

Sunrise, not a nuclear bomb (Radi1981, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “Oil Company Total And Groupe PSA Form Automotive Cells Company” • Four years ago, we covered the news that Total acquired Saft, a battery company. Now we have the news that Total/Saft has partnered with Groupe PSA/Opel on a new joint venture, a battery company. The company’s name is Automotive Cells Company. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “ACT Secures Two Big Batteries For Canberra And Record Low Price For Wind” • Canberra is set to be host to two big battery projects. The Australian Capital Territory government disclosed that two companies that will supply 200 MW of wind power to the national capital at record low prices. And both will build big batteries within the ACT. [RenewEconomy]

Parliament House, Canberra (Unsplash image)

¶ “Australia’s Biggest Renewable Energy Hub To Deliver Low-Cost Power For ACT” • The proposed $3 billion Goyder project will have 1200 MW of wind, 600 MW of solar, and 900 MW, 1800 MWh of storage. The hub is to be the biggest of its kind. The first contract is for 100 MW at A$44.97/MWh ($33/MWh or 3.3¢/kWh) for 14 years. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “New Initiatives To Boost The Organic Farming Sector” • The European Commission has launched a public consultation on its future Action Plan on Organic Farming. This sector will play an important role in achieving the European Green Deal ambition, and reaching the objectives set out in the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies. [Modern Diplomacy]

Organic farming

¶ “Green Hydrogen Could Generate £320 Billion In The UK” • A report by the Offshore Wind Industry Council and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult says green hydrogen industry could create 120,000 jobs and deliver £320 billion for the UK by 2050. It says the UK has the industrial base, research organizations, and wind potential to do this. [reNEWS]

¶ “SSE Finalises Plans For Seagreen O&M Base” • The Montrose Port Authority and SSE Renewables have finalized plans for the operations and maintenance base for the 1075-MW Seagreen offshore wind farm to be built off the east coast of Scotland. SSE Renewables is leading the development and construction of the offshore wind farm. [reNEWS]

Port of Montrose (Montrose Port Authority image)

¶ “Irish Trader Makes 200-MW Battery Breakthrough” • Irish energy and trading services firm ElectroRoute struck a deal to provide trading solutions to what will be one of the EU’s largest battery portfolios. Construction is already under way on the 200-MW portfolio being developed by Korean firm Hanwha Energy Corp and Ireland’s Lumcloon Energy. [reNEWS]

¶ “Asia Pacific Renewables Represent $1 Trillion Opportunity” • Solar and wind represent a $1 trillion (€850 billion) investment opportunity in Asia Pacific through 2030, equivalent to a 66% share of the region’s power market, according to new data from Wood Mackenzie. Investments in renewables have overtaken fossil fuel power since 2013. [reNEWS]

Solar PVs in Thailand (Kyocera image)

¶ “Germany And Norway Exchange First Renewable Energy” • The NordLink interconnector has transmitted power between Norway and Germany for the first time. Nexans reported that in a system test, 70 MW of electricity was transferred between the two countries. NordLink is the first interconnection between Germany And Norway. [Offshore WIND]

¶ “Baltic States Form Energy Pact Against Belarusian Nuclear Plant” • The Baltic states have issued a joint boycott of energy produced by a new Russian-built nuclear plant in Belarusia. They will require proof that electricity they import in the future isn’t coming from the facility. The plant features two reactors, built on a $10 billion loan from Russia. [Bellona]

Control room in a nuclear power plant (Getty Images)

US:

¶ “LA County Records Highest-Ever Temperature” • Los Angeles County recorded its highest-ever temperature on Sunday, Sept 6. Dave Bruno, a senior meteorologist for the National Weather Service, said, “We reached 121°F in Woodland Hills, California. That is the highest-ever temperature at a station, beating 119°F on July 22, 2006.” [CNN]

¶ “Wildfires Force Evacuation Of Entire Town In Central California” • Authorities issued evacuation orders Monday for the entire town of Auberry, a mountain community of 2,500 in central California, as the Creek Fire continued to burn out of control. The Creek Fire has grown to nearly 80,000 acres in size and is 0% contained. [CNN]

California Wildfire (KGTV image)

¶ “Floating Solar Panels To Get Army-Tested At Fort Bragg’s Camp Mackall” • The US Army is installing a floating PV array at Fort Bragg. The 1.1-MW array will be set up on the Big Muddy Lake, at the remote Special Forces training site Camp Mackall. It is designed to provide emergency backup power and supplement grid-supplied electricity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Climate Connections: Napa County’s Progress Towards 100% Renewable Energy” • Every yearow, wildfires in California open our eyes to the immediate and terrifying realities of climate change. The County of Napa is actively confronting this crisis and addressing the urgent need to reduce the heat we add to the atmosphere. [Napa Valley Register]

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September 7 Energy News

September 7, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “How A Tesla And Volkswagen Collaboration Could Help The Environment” • After a meeting between Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess and Tesla’s Elon Musk, I wonder about how the world might benefit if Tesla and Volkswagen were to become partners. Remember, Tesla is not just about cars; its objective ties everything together. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 charging at Volkswagen

¶ “Voodoo Economics And Lithium – Lithium Supply Is 15% of 2023 Global EV Sales Target” • LG Chem’s plans for producing batteries require huge amounts of raw materials. It has a massive order book from automakers and a goal to produce 220 GWh of batteries in 2022, but RK Equity said it has less than 20% of its materials needs secured. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Way The World Needs To Move Forward On Climate Action: Climate Alignment” • India, China, and the US may appear as individual entities in the climate dialogue, but their steel, chemicals, and cement industries have a lot in common. To solve the climate crisis, industries have to work differently. Our current approach is not enough. [CleanTechnica]

Fossil fuels (Cynthia Shahan | CleanTechnica)

World:

¶ “Elon Musk Visits With Herbert Diess, Drives An ID.3 During Visit To Germany” • Elon Musk went to Germany to inspect construction of Tesla’s Berlin Gigafactory, where he praised the team building the factory for their work. Then he flew to the the Braunschweig to meet with Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess for a two-hour chat. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “First Up For Mingyang At 300-MW Chinese Offshore” • The first turbine has been installed at the 300-MW Fujian Fuqing Haitan Strait offshore wind farm in China. MingYang Smart Energy will deliver a total of 22 wind turbines to the project, each with a rated power of 7 MW. The project is being developed by the China Huadian Corporation. [reNEWS]

Fujian Fuqing Haitan Strait site (Mingyang Smart Energy image)

¶ “Off-Grid Power Takes Off In Africa” • With its lower costs and improved reliability, Africa’s leaders are learning to love off-grid renewable energy. What used to be seen as an adjunct to large-scale thermal and hydro-based national grid supply is now being recognised as a major weapon in the drive to provide electricity access to all Africans. [African Business Magazine]

¶ “Foresight Acquires Spanish Solar” • Foresight Solar has announced the acquisition of its first Spanish solar asset, the consented 26.1 MW Virgen del Carmen solar farm, based in Huelva. Construction of the project is expected to start at the end of September 2020, with operations targeted to start in the third quarter of 2021. [reNEWS]

Solar farm (Foresight image)

¶ “Consultants Challenge EDF Over Economic Benefits And Jobs Sizewell C Will Bring” • Consultants from the independent firm Development Economics have challenged the jobs and economic benefits that EDF said building a nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast will bring. They labeled the claims as “exaggerated” and “unrealistic.” [East Anglian Daily Times]

Australia:

¶ “Renewable Revolution: Queensland To Put $500 Million Into Clean Energy Fund” • The Queensland government announced a renewable energy fund of A$500 million to build wind and solar projects as a centerpiece of its post-pandemic economic recovery plan. The announcement marks one of Australia’s first significant green recovery projects. [The Guardian]

Australian wind farm (Mick Tsikas | AAP)

¶ “ESB Puts “Coal Exit Strategy” At Center Of Energy Market Shakeup” • The Energy Security board is calling for feedback what is likely to be the biggest shake up of electricity markets in decades, including asking regulators to actively prepare for the phase out ageing coal and gas generators and establishing two-way electricity markets. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Naturgy JV Seals Australian Wind PPA” • Following the signing of a power purchase agreement with Snowy Hydro, Global Power Generation, a joint venture of Naturgy Energy Group and the Kuwait Investment Authority, is to build a 218-MW wind farm in Australia. Operations at the Ryan Corner project are expected to start in the second half 2022. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Credit Master Wen | Unsplash)

¶ “Tesla Secures Funding For Australia’s Largest Virtual Power Plant” • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency issued A$8.2 million in funding for development of what may be Australia’s largest virtual power plant. Tesla Motors Australia will install solar PV systems with battery storage for 3,000 home in South Australia. [Power Engineering International]

US:

¶ “California Sets New Record For Land Torched By Wildfires, As 224 People Escape By Air From A ‘Hellish’ Inferno” • This has become the worst year in history for California’s wildfires, in terms of the amount of land scorched, and it’s only September. More than 2,094,955 acres have burned across the state this year, CAL FIRE Captain Richard Cordova said. [CNN]

California wildfire (Eric Paul Zamora | The Fresno Bee | AP)

¶ “Solar PV Panels Were 12 Times More Expensive In 2010, 459 Times More Expensive In 1977” • The website PVInsights says the average price for a polycrystalline solar PV module last week was $0.167/watt. That means the price of about $2/watt in 2010 was close to 12 times as high as it is today. And the price in 1977 was $76.67/watt, 459 times as high. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tucson Electric Power Nears Completion Of Huge Wind Farm In New Mexico” • Tucson Electric Power is nearing completion of its biggest renewable energy resource yet, the 250-MW Oso Grande Wind project near Roswell, New Mexico. Oso Grande is expected provide enough energy for 90,000 Tucson area homes by the end of November. [Arizona Daily Star]

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September 6 Energy News

September 6, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Q&A: Why Women Leading The Climate Movement Are Underappreciated And Sometimes Invisible” • The American scientist Eunice Newton Foote theorized in 1856 that CO₂ in the atmosphere could produce global warming. That was three years before Irish physicist John Tyndall did research often cited as the beginning of climate science. [InsideClimate News]

Youth Climate Strike (Felton Davis, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Microgrids Are The Future Of Energy” • The vision of a household with a solar rooftop, a battery pack, and an EV in the garage is not just Elon Musk’s vision of the future of energy. It is a vision that many proponents of the renewable shift share, and it may be growing increasingly more realistic, as information technology improves. [OilPrice.com]

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Evidence Shows Rising Temperatures Accelerating Frequency And Intensity Of Northern California Wildfires” • As California’s fire season is getting longer, it is getting clearer that even modest increases in temperature dramatically ratchet up wildfire risk, according to climate scientists, meteorologists and fire experts. [Santa Rosa Press Democrat]

San Francisco Bay (Noah Berger | Associated Press)

¶ “Massive Mystery Holes Appear In Siberian Tundra – Could Be Linked To Climate Change” • Scientists are studying a crater in Siberia. It is 30 meters deep and 20 meters across, and it is the region’s ninth to appear since 2013. They believe the crater is linked to an explosive buildup of methane gas, an unsettling result of warming temperatures. [CNN]

World:

¶ “First 100+ Seat Aircraft To Cross Atlantic Powered By 100% Renewable Energy Will Win Freedom Flight Prize” • Carbon Footprint Ltd set up the Freedom Flight Prize, a competition focused on crossing the Atlantic Ocean 100% powered by renewable energy with seating for 100. The prize is growing as new sponsors put up money. [CleanTechnica]

Wright Electric EasyJet (Courtesy of Wright Electric)

¶ “European Trio Working On Solar Canopy For Highways” • A trio of European technology leaders – the Austrian Institute of Technology, Fraunhofer ISE, and Forster Industrietechnik – is working to develop a solar canopy system for highways in order to tap into the vast, under-utilized road network for generating clean electricity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ireland: Some Residents Replace School Buses With Bike Buses” • In Ireland, someone found a brilliant alternative to packing kids off to school in a bus during the Covid-19 era. It even looks like a ton of fun, contributes to student health (physical and mental), and cuts pollution. It’s a bike bus, or “school bus of bikes.” [CleanTechnica]

Bike Bus (Screenshot from RTÉ News)

¶ “Gas Authority Of India Has Several Renewable Projects In The Offing” • The Annual Report for 2019-20 of the Gas Authority of India Limited sheds light on its ambitions and accomplishments in renewable energy. Its total renewable energy portfolio consists of 118 MW of wind power capacity and 12.3 MW of solar power capacity, and it is expanding. [Mercom India]

¶ “With record new solar and wind installed, Australia’s clean energy is booming – for now” • Data from the government’s Clean Energy Regulator suggests 6.3 GW of new solar and wind energy will be installed in Australia this year. But investment in renewable energy has not only stalled; it has slumped in a way likely to be felt in the years ahead. [The Guardian]

Australian wind farm (David Gray | Reuters)

¶ “Farming Family Backs $110 Million Yass Solar Farm” • A farming family in Yass, New South Wales, has agreed to lease agricultural land to a solar farm estimated to cost $110 million and to produce 80 MW of electricity. The project proposed by Tetris Energy also includes a 20-MW battery storage facility and small control room with parking. [About Regional]

¶ “Rolls-Royce To Supply Battery Storage For Microgrid On Cook Island” • Rolls-Royce has won a contract to supply three 40-foot storage batteries for a microgrid on Cook Island. The batteries have a storage capacity of 4,268 kWh and an electricity output of 4,800 kW in total and will enable the increased use of renewable energy. [Energy Live News]

Solar field and batteries (Rolls-Royce image)

¶ “China Turns Back To Nuclear Power As Concerns Over Energy Security Rise” • With renewed focus on energy security, China approved two new nuclear power projects, the first in over a year. The country is still heavily dependent on coal and other fossil fuels, but the State Council stressed the need to develop different sources of energy. [Yahoo Singapore News]

US:

¶ “Susquehanna Recognized As Top University For Renewable Energy” • Susquehanna University has been recognized as one of Pennsylvania’s leading universities when it comes to renewable energy, according to the report, “America’s Top Colleges for Renewable Energy 2020,” by the PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center. [Newsroom]

Sheep under solar panels (Susquehanna University)

¶ “New York Utilities, Enel X, And Uplight Launch Smart EV Charging Program” • Ratepayers of Central Hudson Gas & Electric and Orange & Rockland got a cool new offering. Those utilities have partnered with Uplight and Enel X to get more smart EV chargers into people’s homes and help them charge on 100% renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “SoCalGas Introduces Contactless Enrollment Option For Energy Savings Assistance Program” • Southern California Gas Company announced a virtual enrollment option for the Energy Savings Assistance Program, which continues to provide eligible customers with an average of $705 worth of energy-efficiency home upgrades at no cost. [Orange County Breeze]

Have a transcendentally convivial day.

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September 5 Energy News

September 5, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Earth’s ‘Lost Species’ Only The Tip Of The Iceberg” • Based on the current threat status of species, scientists’ computer-based simulations predict large increases in extinction rates by the year 2100. They say the extinctions that occurred in past centuries only represent the tip of the iceberg, compared with the looming extinctions of the next decades. [BBC]

Mammoth skull at auction in New York City (Getty Images)

¶ “Planned Obsolescence Leads To Resource Depletion, Overflowing Landfills, And Climate Change” • Manufacturers nearly allways build their “durable” white and brown goods with planned obsolescence. They are designed to fail instead lasting of for the longest possible lifetime. Most come with warranties, but that is for the sake of marketing. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Energy Storage Takes On Weird New Forms As Sparkling Green Future Takes Shape” • The energy storage facilities of the sparkling green future will run the gamut from massive infrastructure projects to hand held devices. Two examples just popped up on the radar this week, and they demonstrate how diverse the technologies be. [CleanTechnica]

Parts of a gravity energy storage system (Gravitricity image)

¶ “Disordered Rock Salt And Transition Metal Anodes – Engineering The Batteries Of The Future” • People like to say nothing is sure but death and taxes. But there is something else we can be sure of – announcements about blockbuster new battery technologies that promise higher energy density and shorter charging times. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Present And Future of Vehicle-to-Grid Technology” • By 2050, up to 45% of households will actively provide vehicle-to-grid services, according to National Grid Electricity System Operator’s Future Energy Scenarios, published in July 2020. But will the average EV driver be able to use V2G charging over the next few years? [CleanTechnica]

Ready to charge (Electric Nation V2G UK)

¶ “Protecting Half The Planet Could Help Solve Climate Change And Save Species” • A study argues that nations can help avert the biodiversity and climate crises by preserving the roughly 50% of land that remains relatively undeveloped. The researchers mapped out the area they call a “Global Safety Net,” in a study published in Science Advances. [Science News]

World:

¶ “European Commission Announces Actions to Make Europe’s Raw Materials Supply More Secure And Sustainable” • The European Commission presented an Action Plan on Critical Raw Materials, the 2020 List of Critical Raw Materials, and a foresight study on critical raw materials for strategic technologies and sectors, looking towards 2030 and 2050. [CleanTechnica]

Resource map (Please click on the image to enlarge it.)

¶ “Iran’s Enriched Uranium Stockpile ’10 Times Limit'” • Iran has over 10 times the amount of enriched uranium permitted under an international agreement, the UN’s nuclear watchdog says. The International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran has 2,105 kg of enriched uranium. Iran insists its nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes. [BBC]

¶ “Community Windpower Is Now Flush For Aikengall Trio” • Community Windpower secured finance from KfW IPEX-Bank for three Aikengall wind farms near Dunbar, East Lothian. Their combined capacity is almost 200 MW. Aikengall 2a will be one of the largest subsidy-free developments in Scotland using 19 Siemens Gamesa 4.3-MW turbines. [reNEWS]

Wind farm in Scotland (Community Windpower image)

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Strengthens Position In Vietnam’s Wind Sector” • GE Renewable Energy has announced that it has secured two 30 MW contracts to supply a total of 12 units of GE’s 5MW-158 Cypress wind turbines to support construction of the Quoc Vinh Soc Trang and Lac Hoa Soc Trang wind farms, in southern Vietnam. [Energy Global]

US:

¶ “Oregon Communities Using Municipal Waste To Create Their Own Clean Energy Futures” • Leaders across Oregon are making innovative investments so their communities can create more of their own clean energy, help control costs for residents, and save taxpayers millions. They’re turning their water resource recovery facilities into energy resources. [Portland Business Journal]

Salem’s Willow Lake Water Pollution Control Facility

¶ “Climate Group Partners With The United Nations Race To Zero Campaign For Critical Climate Week NYC Opening Day Event” • Climate Week NYC (September 21–27), now in its twelfth year, takes place annually alongside the UN General Assembly. And COP26 and The Zero Carbon Growth Agenda is to reaffirm the urgency of climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Chicago Launches $200 Million RFP To Power City Facilities By Renewable Energy” • The City of Chicago has released a $200 million request for proposals for a contract to procure renewable energy for all city-owned buildings. Under the contract, all city-owned buildings, streetlights and other facilities would run on renewable energy starting in 2022. [Utility Dive]

Chicago Skyline (Alan Light | Flickr)

¶ “Wind’s AWEA And US Power Giants Plan New Industry Body ‘To Make Renewables Dominant'” • The American Wind Energy Association plans to merge into a new clean energy industry body that will also include such utilities as NextEra Energy and Berkshire Hathaway Energy, in a bid to make renewables “the dominant power source in America.” [Recharge]

¶ “Dominion Seeks To Keep North Anna Nuclear Plant Operating Into 2060” • Dominion Energy applied with the NRC to renew the operating license for its North Anna nuclear power station for 20 more years. The renewal would have the reactor units be licensed to operate through 2058 and 2060, when they would be over 80 years old. [Virginia Business Magazine]

Have an altogether delightful day.

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September 4 Energy News

September 4, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “How Does The Tesla Solar Roof Stack Up To A Traditional Solar System After 6 Months?” • Earlier this year, Tesla activated our Tesla Solar Roof system with two Powerwalls in the garage for storage. After 6 months of playing with the system, I’m excited to look at the pros and cons of the system and see if I would do it all over again. [CleanTechnica]

Our new home (Credit: Chuck Field for CleanTechnica)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Wind Turbines That Stand Up To The World’s Worst Storms” • Challenergy, a Tokyo-based start-up, has designed and built a wind turbine specifically for typhoon-prone areas. For Atsushi Shimizu, founder and chief executive of Challenergy, the ideal places for these robust wind turbines are where reliable electricity is scarce. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Summer 2020’S Arctic Wildfires Set New Emission Records” • Arctic wildfires are setting records for CO₂ emissions, according to scientists at the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service. Based on data from the CAMS’ Global Fire Assimilation System, they estimate that CO₂ emissions from Arctic fires have increased by more than a third, compared to 2019. [CNN]

Arctic wildfire (Yevgeny Sofroneyev | TASS | Getty Images)

¶ “Renault Zoe Van And Kangoo ZE Buyers In UK Get ‘Free’ Home Charging Wallbox” • If you buy a new Renault Zoe Van or Renault Kangoo ZE in the UK, you get a nice little bonus – a home charging wallbox worth £450. You have to order this month for the deal, though. You also have to get the vehicle(s) through Renault Contract Hire. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “CN To Buy 50 Lion Electric Trucks” • The Lion Electric Co has had more than its fair share of orders in the early electric truck market, and this week it notched a big one. The large Canadian transport company CN signed a memorandum of understanding with Lion Electric to buy 50 of its zero-emission, fully electric trucks. [CleanTechnica]

Lion Electric Co electric truck

¶ “Germany Tells Elon Musk That Tesla Will Get Government Support For Giga Berlin” • Reuters reported that Elon Musk met with Germany’s economy minister, Peter Altmaier, who told him that Germany will help in whatever way is needed to help get Giga Berlin running as fast as possible. Other officials have also offered support.  [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Victoria Calls For 600 MW Of New Renewables To Lift Its Economy” • Victoria is turning to renewables to help drive its economic recovery from Covid-19. Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister for Energy, the Environment, and Climate Change, will test industry interest and capacity for 600 MW of new solar, wind and other renewable energy projects. [EcoGeneration]

Putting  up a turbine mast

¶ “China’s Energy Giants Tiptoe Into Renewables” • China’s state energy producers PetroChina, Sinopec, and CNOOC outlined initiatives to develop hydrogen and wind power after their earnings slumped along with the oil price in the first half of the year. But they are being cautious, and their renewables projects could take years to materialize. [Nasdaq]

¶ “Apple Invests In Aussie Renewable Energy Projects” • In an exclusive interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Apple VP of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Lisa Jackson, said the tech giant was preparing to invest more in renewable energy in Australia in “the very near future.” Apple is committed to be 100% carbon neutral in 2030. [ChannelNews]

Wind turbines in twilight (Screen Shot)

US:

¶ “BYD Is Selected For California Purchasing Contract” • BYD is a global leader in electric bus sales. It has sold more electric buses in the US than any other company. Despite being a Chinese company, it has a factory in California. California has selected BYD as one of the companies that can participate in California’s purchase contract. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vermont Solar Expands State’s Pollinator Habitat” • Bee the Change, a Middlebury-based REV Member, teamed up with REV Member Green Lantern Solar to install its twentieth pollinator-friendly solar field on a 4.5 acre site in New Haven, Vermont. The site will soon host many species of plants that attract pollinator insects and beneficial bird species. [Green Energy Times]

Solar panels and bees (Mike Kiernan at Bee the Change)

¶ “Sunrun, SunPower, Engie, And Others Launch ‘Local Energy For All’ Campaign In USA” • Rooftop solar power has come down in price tremendously in the past decade, as they had for decades before. Solar panels were about nine times as expensive in 2006 as in 2019. Now, solar companies are pushing to make it cheap enough for everyone. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New renewable energy resource provided to Sioux Center” • Sioux Center, Iowa, has added a new renewable energy resource added to its power supply with the dedication of a hydroelectric generating stationt. Missouri River Energy Services, the Sioux Center Municipal Utilities energy partner dedicated the project on September 2. [KCAU 9]

Hydro dam (Courtesy of the City of Sioux Center)

¶ “100-MW Ventura Energy Storage On The Way To Helping California Grid” • Construction has begun for the 100-MW, 400-MWh Ventura Energy Storage battery, near Oxnard, California. With the capacity to serve 80,000 Southern California Edison customers, the project will provide critically-needed reliability services for the grid. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Utah Co-Op Wants To Build 12 Small Nuclear Reactors In Idaho” • Now that the NRC has approved the design for NuScale’s small nuclear reactor, a Utah energy cooperative wants to build 12 of them in Idaho. The Utah Taxpayers Association has come out against the plan, saying costs will soar as they have current reactors. [The Daily Herald]

Have an amazingly beautiful day.

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September 3 Energy News

September 3, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Can Community Microgrids Fill The Gap In California’s Plans For 100% Renewable Energy?” • Southern California’s Goleta load pocket is a 70 mile stretch of coastline with 220,000 residents. It is served by one 220-kV transmission line snaking its way over 40 miles of mountainous terrain. One activist says microgrids could make it resilient. [pv magazine USA]

Rooftop solar systems (Image: The Solar Revolution, S-5!)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Electric Vehicles ‘Have Significantly Lower Impacts On The Climate,’ New In-Depth Report Finds” • There are often repeated concerns that EVs may not be as clean as we would like. A study by environmental consulting firm Ricardo was undertaken for the European Commission. It showed EVs have significantly reduced climate impacts. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Citroën Launches Low-Cost Ami With Healthy Dose Of Art” • Citroën has launched a tiny little electric car, the Ami. It started the model off by sprinkling twenty of the cars around Paris, all covered in art. More than 100 Ami electric cars will soon be in the Free2Move fleet, but only these initial 20 will have the special designs. [CleanTechnica]

Citroën Ami in Paris

¶ “France Hits 10.5% EV Market Share In August – Up Four Times Year On Year” • Europe’s second largest auto market, France, saw a plugin passenger electric vehicle market share of 10.5% in August 2020, a growth of four times in share from August 2019. Bestsellers this year include the Renault Zoe, Peugeot e-208, and Tesla Model 3. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GE Commissions 85 MW In Turkey” • GE Renewable Energy has commissioned wind farms with a total of 85 MW of capacity in Turkey. The 53-MW Kirazli and 32-MW Meryem wind farms are part of a bigger order placed one year ago by a local joint venture between Turkerler and RT Enerji, for 158 MW for five wind farms in total. [reNEWS]

GE wind farm in Turkey (Image: GE Renewable Energy)

¶ “Norway In August – Over 70% EV Market Share And Heading Higher” • Clean transport transition leader Norway hit a huge 70.2% plugin passenger vehicle market share in August, up from 49% a year ago. Pure battery electrics alone took 53% of the market. September is already showing signs of being a record breaking month. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewables Through The Roof, As Small-Scale Solar Heads To Stunning New Highs” • Australia is on track to add a stunning 6.3 GW of new renewable energy capacity in 2020, thanks largely to a rooftop solar market that has defied the odds of the Covid-19 pandemic and is headed to a record total of just under 3 GW for the year. [RenewEconomy]

Rooftop solar systems (Image: Dan Himbrechts | AAP)

¶ “BigMoon Clinches Canadian Tidal Slot” • BigMoon Power has been awarded its second contract with the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, which will see it provide 4 MW of tidal energy, after an open competition. The power purchase agreement and license will also give BigMoon a berth at FORCE in Nova Scotia and will pay it C$475/MWh. [reNEWS]

¶ “Australia Is Leading The World In Deploying Renewable Energy” • Australia continues to lead the world in the per capita roll out of energy generated by solar and wind, resulting in lower greenhouse gas emissions and falling electricity prices, according to an analysis from The Australian National University based on Clean Energy Regulator data. [Science at ANU]

Wind farm (Harry Cunningham | Unsplash)

US:

¶ “The $999 Lectric XP Is An Affordable Folding Fat Tire eBike” • One year old Lectric eBikes was founded to develop and deliver an affordable yet functional electric bike to customers around the world. The result the effort of co-founders Levi Conlow and Robby Deziel is a folding fat tire electric bike that is first and foremost affordable. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Forms Coastal Virginia O&M Team” • Siemens Gamesa is working with marine and subsea solutions provider Acteon to provide a fully integrated operations and maintenance package for Dominion Energy’s 12-MW Coastal Virginia offshore wind pilot project. The pilot features two Siemens Gamesa 6.0-154 turbines. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine installation (Dominion Energy image)

¶ “EPA Report Shows Onsite Renewable Energy Growth Among Worship Facilities” • The US EPA has released a 15-page report summarizing data on the self-reported use of onsite renewable energy among a subset of US commercial buildings. The report’s information comes from the EPA’s ENERGY STAR® program. It is the first report of its kind. [Church Executive Magazine]

¶ “Ørsted, The World’s Offshore Wind Giant, Gets Serious About Solar” • Ørsted is currently building two huge solar arrays, one in Texas and one in Alabama, totaling nearly 700 MW. Particularly striking is the 460-MW Permian Energy Center in West Texas, which will sell its solar power to ExxonMobil and includes a 40-MW battery system. [Greentech Media]

Permian Energy Center (Photo: Ørsted)

¶ “‘Threatening Hoboken’s very existence’” • A 146-page suit, filed in Hudson County Superior Court on September 2, seeks, among other things, compensatory, punitive, consequential, and treble damages from the defendants for a decades-long campaign of misinformation related to climate change and its impact on Hoboken. [The Hudson Reporter]

¶ “Two Cities Back Out As Critics Line Up Against Utah-Supported Municipal Nuclear Power Project” • Warning of the potential for cost overruns and other risks, opponents continue to line up against a nuclear power project that has the backing of a number of Utah municipalities. There is a Sept 30 deadline to back out of the project. [Salt Lake Tribune]

Have a fabulously superb day.

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September 2 Energy News

September 2, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “What It’s Like To Live In A City That’s Had Three ‘Once In A Lifetime’ Climate Disasters In Twelve Years” • In 2008, Cedar Rapids was completely underwater in a flood considered to be one of the country’s worst natural disasters. But a similar flood came in September, 2016. Last month brought 140 mph winds of a Category 4 derecho. [HuffPost]

Author by a tree in her neighborhood of Cedar Rapids, Iowa

¶ “The Sitting President Has No Climate Plan. Why Isn’t That Headline News?” • As hurricanes and wildfires sweep through the US, the president offers no ideas, and journalists have been giving him a pass. Too often, the press meets the president on his terms, failing to interrogate something that is unacceptable from the nation’s leader. [The Nation]

¶ “The Bright Hope Of Cleantech” • The coalescence of climate change, Covid-19, and economic catastrophe has brought about a malaise that seems unbreachable. And yet, in fact, there is hope. Cleantech has offered glimpses of the future that are downright cheerful. And the change to the better future that hope offers is already under way. [CleanTechnica]

Have a sunny day (CleanTechnica image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Global Survey Using NASA Data Shows Dramatic Growth Of Glacial Lakes” • Researchers using 30 years of NASA satellite data found that the volume of these lakes worldwide has increased by about 50% since 1990 as glaciers melt and retreat due to climate change. Their study, published in Nature Climate Change, was the largest ever done on glacial lakes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Plastics Will Be Toast, Thanks To Moonlighting Microbes” • Oil & Gas stakeholders may see plastics as a path to the future, but researchers have discovered that certain microbes can moonlight as refineries. They can make ethylene, a building block for all sorts of plastics and chemicals that currently rely on oil and gas. [CleanTechnica]

Help, beneath our very feet (image via ORNL)

World:

¶ “Russia’s ‘Slow-Motion Chernobyl’ At Sea” • Nuclear reactors lost at sea could rust away and lose their radioactive materials. President Vladimir Putin started an initiative to lift two Soviet nuclear submarines and four reactor compartments from the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, reducing the amount of radioactive material in its waters by 90%. [BBC]

¶ “Volkwagen Trademarks “e-Thing” In Europe” • Germans have a reputation for being among the best engineers, but they are not known for their humor. Nevertheless, there is a group of folks within the Volkswagen Group who do seem to appreciate a bit of whimsy. Volkswagen has filed for a trademark in Europe for the name “e-Thing.” [CleanTechnica]

1973 Volkswagen Thing (Courtesy of Volkswagen)

¶ “TenneT Inaugurates Dutch Wind And Solar Substation” • TenneT is inaugurating a high-voltage substation on Middenweg in Eemshaven was built entirely for wind and solar energy. The company laid a 9-km underground cable connection from the new 110-kV substation to the existing Eemshaven Robbenplaat HV substation. [reNEWS]

¶ “Saft Tech Helps Gold Fields Make The Renewable Energy Switch At Agnew” • In Saft’s first project for EDL, a lithium-ion battery energy storage system has been installed in a hybrid solar-wind-battery microgrid with an installed capacity of 56 MW. This is the first microgrid to incorporate wind power on a large scale at an Australia mine. [International Mining]

Gold Fields microgrid

¶ “BHP Signs Wind And Solar Deal To Help Power Queensland Coal Mines” • Global mining giant BHP has signed a five year contract to use wind and solar to deliver up to half of the power needs for its coal mining operations in Queensland. It’s the first big renewable energy off-take agreement signed by BHP in Australia. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ “Trump Admin Pushes Oil Drilling In National Forests” • The Trump administration took the wraps off a new rule that will make it easier to drill for oil and gas in national forests. This is happening just as communities are suffering from dirty air and the dangers of a warming planet, from wildfires and heat waves to hurricanes and derechos. [CleanTechnica]

National Forest in Montana (US Forest Service)

¶ “Trash From Baltimore County To Be Used To Produce Renewable Energy” • Trash from Baltimore County will now be used to produce renewable energy. Instead of burning methane gas off with a landfill flare, Energy Power Partners will collect gas produced by the Eastern Sanitary Landfill in White Marsh to create power with on-site generators. [CBS Baltimore]

¶ “DTE Energy Plans Major Two-Year Solar Energy Buildout To Meet Corporate Demand” • DTE Energy plans to significantly expand its solar energy portfolio in the next two years to support growing corporate demand for renewable energy contracts. The Michigan utility announced that it expects to bring 420 MW of new solar capacity online by 2022. [MiBiz]

Solar array

¶ “Austin Community College Becomes First Community College In Texas To Use 100% Renewable Energy” •  Two Austin Community College campuses now use 100% renewable energy, the college announced. The switch to clean energy makes ACC the first community college in Texas to have campuses that are entirely powered by the sun and wind. [KVUE.com]

¶ “Enel Green Power Begins Operating Largest Solar Plant In Texas” • Enel Green Power has started operations at the 245-MW second phase of its Roadrunner solar plant in Upton County, Texas. With a total capacity of 497 MW, the Roadrunner project is the largest operational solar farm in Texas and the company’s largest in the US. [REVE]

Have a totally cool day.

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September 1 Energy News

September 1, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Cheaper, Cleaner, And More Reliable: How Renewables Are Winning Energy Trifecta” • The three business lobby groups cheered loudly when Australia repealed the carbon price in 2013. Now they have joined up with unions, super funds, and research groups to urge the same Coalition government to aim for a zero emissions target by 2050. [RenewEconomy]

Hornsdale wind farm and batteries

¶ “There Is A Humanitarian Crisis In Louisiana And No One Is Talking About It” • Just days ago, a Category 4 hurricane tore through Louisiana. The mainstream media has already moved on, almost as fast as the storm did. I can not stress this enough: People are facing Covid-19 without power, running water, shelter, and food. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Power Companies ‘Hindering’ Move To Green Energy” • A study suggests that power companies are dragging their feet when it comes to embracing green energy sources such as wind and solar. Only one in 10 energy suppliers globally prioritizes renewables over fossil fuels. Even those that are spending on greener energy are still invest in fossil fuels. [BBC]

Workers at a solar array (Getty Images)

¶ “Recovery Money Spent On Fossils Is Twice As Much As Has Been Spent On Renewable Energy” • While delivering the 19th Darbari Seth Memorial Lecture this year, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pointed out that twice as much recovery money has been spent on fossil fuels as clean energy in G20 recovery packages. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “First Electric Armored Money Transporter” • Truck and van maker MAN said its MAN eTGE electric van would be available as an electric armored transporter, with initial delivery to the security company Prosegur. MAN called the van a “world first.” Prosegur vehicles require only short range of 60–70 km (37–44 miles), but weight is a design issue. [CleanTechnica]

MAN eTGE electric money transporter (Image courtesy of MAN)

¶ “Frost & Sullivan: $3.40 Trillion To Be Invested In Renewable Energy By 2030” • The 2020s will be crucial for all participants in the power industry as the transition toward renewable energy is expected to increase, while coal takes a downturn in most developed markets, according to recent analysis by consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. [Solar Industry]

¶ “Computational Method Shows Italy May Install 144.5 GW Of PVs By 2050” • Polytechnic University of Milan researchers have developed a model to find the best spatial distribution of sources of renewable energy for an electricity system. Only PVs and storage were found to be “vital components” for Italy’s plans to decarbonize by 2050. [pv magazine International]

Church of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice (Zoltán Vörös | flickr)

¶ “Apple Is Fueling A Renewable Boom In Taiwan” • Apple is seemingly everywhere these days. From its headline-grabbing stock split to its industry-leading carbon-neutral push, the tech giant is truly showing that it is worth its $2 trillion valuation. And now, it’s ramping up the pressure on its suppliers to commit to going green, as well. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Influx Of Renewables Sees Coal Power Plants Run Well Below Capacity, Increasing Chance Of Closures” • Coal power plants in New South Wales are running less than 60% of the time. An analysis also found coal generation in Queensland had dropped to less than 70% of capacity as more cheap solar and wind farms came online. [The Guardian]

Coal-fired power plant (Bloomberg | Bloomberg via Getty Images)

¶ “Vattenfall Fires Up Fossil-Fuel Free Steel Plant” • Vattenfall, SSAB, and LKAB have inaugurated the Hybrit pilot plant in Sweden, which aims to be a step towards fossil-free steelmaking. Tests will now be carried out at the Hybrit plant in several stages for the use of hydrogen in the direct reduction of iron ore, with water emitted instead of carbon dioxide. [reNEWS]

¶ “Hunterston B Nuclear Power Station To Close In 2021” • EDF confirmed that it will close its Hunterston B nuclear station next year, at least a year earlier than scheduled. Decommissioning will begin no later than 7 January 2022. The nuclear power plant in North Ayrshire, Scotland, has regulatory approval to operate until March 2023. [Greenwise Business]

Hunterston B nuclear plant

US:

¶ “Biden: ‘I Am Not Banning Fracking'” • Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said he would not ban fracking in the US if he were elected president, refuting repeated false claims by President Donald Trump about his stance on the issue. Some former Democratic presidential candidates had called for a nationwide ban on fracking. [CNN]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Scores 325-MW Texas Order” • Siemens Gamesa has won turbine orders for two wind projects in Texas. Their combined installed capacity will be 325 MW. The projects, which are being developed by an undisclosed client, will have 65 SG 5.0-145 wind turbines. Both wind farms are expected to be operational in 2021. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Siemens image)

¶ “Plant-Based Foods Rise Sharply In Popularity” • In 2017, according to the Good Foods Institute, the plant-based food market yielded $3.9 billion in sales. By 2019, that market has increased 29% to $5.0 billion. In the meanwhile, dollar sales of conventional animal foods have grown only modestly or actually declined. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Sunrun And GRID Alternatives Will Provide Free Residential Storage Batteries For Those At Risk From Wildfires” • GRID Alternatives is a rooftop solar company with a twist. It focuses on bringing solar power and jobs to underserved communities. It has long partnered with Sunrun, and now that parnership has expanded in an extraordinary way. [CleanTechnica]

Have a comprehensibly grand day.

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August 31 Energy News

August 31, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Where Will Renewable Energy Be in Five Years?” • Leading renewable energy producer NextEra Energy expects that near-firm wind and solar (ie, with a four-hour battery storage adder) will be cheaper to build than all but the most efficient natural gas power plants within the next five years. This could produce an investment surge. [Motley Fool]

Wind farm (Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “AES Invests In 5B Portable Solar Technology” • 5B is an Australian solar energy company with an innovative new idea. Instead of building a solar system onsite, make it in a factory using preassembled units that are hinged together and fold up like the sides of an accordion. Now AES, a co-founder of Fluence Energy, is among those financing 5B. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “World’s First Foiling Electric Boat” • Electric boats are starting to bloom. Boat maker Candela says it offers the “first electric boats with real range,” by adding hydrofoils. Their speedboat can go quite far – 50 nautical miles at 22 knots, which is 57.54 land miles at 25.3 mph. And it has a maximum speed of 30 knots (35 mph). [CleanTechnica]

Foiling electric boat (Photo via Candela)

¶ “Rigid Sails And Solar Power For Zero Emission Shipping” • Renewable energy is a source of emissions free power and on-board ships it can be harnessed by various means including rigid sails and solar panels. Both have potential to significantly reduce vessel emissions especially as the underlying technologies keep on being improved. [Splash 247]

World:

¶ “The Search Engine Boss Who Wants To Help Us All Plant Trees” • Christian Kroll wants nothing less than to change the world. The 35-year-old German is the boss of search engine Ecosia, which has an unusual but very environmentally friendly business model – it gives away most of its profits to enable trees to be planted around the world. [BBC]

Tree planting project (© Joshi Gottlieb)

¶ “New Record-Low Solar Price Bid – 1.3¢/kWh” • Portugal held a solar power auction, in which one of the bids broke the world record for the lowest solar power price. The lowest winning bid was to supply solar electricity to the grid at a new record price of €0.01114/kWh (1.327¢/kWh). The array will save Portugal €37.2 million per year for fifteen years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Work Underway On Gravitricity Storage Demo” • Winch specialist Huisman has begun on the fabrication of Gravitricity’s €1.1 million energy storage demonstrator, which is due for trial in Edinburgh early next year. The full 16m-high rig will be assembled at a grid-connected site at the port of Leith for testing to begin in spring 2021. [reNEWS]

Gravitricity storage demo (Gravitricity image)

¶ “Korean ESS Companies Ramp Up Overseas Business To Hike Up Revenue By 40%” • South Korean tech heavyweights Samsung SDI Co and LG Chem Ltd are expected to see a boost in market shares as they secure hefty energy storage system orders from overseas markets. Both intend to fortify their global energy storage businesses. [The Korea Economic Daily]

¶ “Renewables Set Power Generation Records In First Half Of 2020” • The latest Drax report shows renewables up 32% year-on-year as biomass, wind and solar set new generation records in Q2 2020. At one point renewable electricity sources were providing 69.5% of Britain’s electricity, the Drax Electrical Insights quarterly report says. [reNEWS]

Installing a turbine blade at Hornsea (Ørsted image)

¶ “Renewables And Covid-19 Combine To Cut Australia’s Greenhouse Emissions” • The continued growth of Australia’s renewable sector and a sharp fall in consumption of transport fuel because of Covid-19 have contributed to a fall in Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. But the fall was 1.4%, and most of the cuts may be temporary. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “China Poised To Overtake US In Nuclear Power By 2030” • China’s total nuclear power generation capacity, including reactors under construction and in planning, was 108,700 MW as of April, more than America’s 105,120 MW, according to the World Nuclear Association. Western countries are tending not to build nuclear plants. [Nikkei Asian Review]

China pushing to lead

US:

¶ “42 Target Stores May Host Tesla Supercharger Stations” • It’s exciting news for lovers of Tesla and Target. Tesla is apparently working to bring Superchargers to 42 more Target stores across the USA. And 42, as we all should know from the Douglas Adams classic (as Elon Musk certainly does), is the answer to life, the universe, and everything. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Wind Power Adds 1800 MW Of Capacity In First Quarter Of 2020” • The US wind industry added more than 1,800 MW of new capacity in the first quarter of 2020, an American Wind Energy Association report says. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories said in a market report that 9 GW of wind capacity were added in 2019. [Industry Leaders Magazine]

Wind turbines

¶ “Dozens Of Shops Are Now Replacing Nissan LEAF Batteries” • A growing number of shops and suppliers are getting into the business of replacing LEAF batteries. Good first-generation batteries now available for as little as $1000. People with an older LEAF can even get newer 62-kWh packs to get over 200 miles of range in the oldest LEAFs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GM Gets Serious About Electric Cars And Autonomous Driving With Help From Corvette Engineers” • There can be no doubt that GM is indeed getting serious about building electric cars and cars that drive themselves after the news this week that it is reassigning some of its best and brightest engineers to create its cars of the future. [CleanTechnica]

Have a fundamentally magnificent day.

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August 30 Energy News

August 30, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Power To The People: Why Clean Energy Must Give More Australians A Slice Of The Pie” • Renewable energy is cheap partly because it requires little human intervention, which means lower electricity prices. It means more money can be given back to the community in other ways. But its jobs rely mostly on new growth, rather than existing projects. [The Guardian]

Wind turbine (David Gray | Reuters)

¶ “Australia Looks To Take The Lead In The Hydrogen Boom” • The EU has big plans for hydrogen, but Australia could soon make the EU’s hydrogen plans seem pedestrian. Australia is single-handedly developing a 15-GW project that will generate hydrogen for export. It could make the world’s driest continent the “Saudi Arabia of renewables.” [OilPrice.com]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change Didn’t Cause Hurricane Laura But It Did Make The Storm Worse” • Laura broke multiple records. At the Mermentau River gauge at Grand Chenier, in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, the gauge topped out at 17.14 feet; the previous high was 13 feet in June 1957. As the planet has warmed significantly, the storms have been worse. [CNN]

Hurricane Laura on August 26 (Chris Cassidy | NASA)

World:

¶ “Panama Cancels Order For Diesel Buses, Will Purchase 195 Electric Buses Instead” • For the past year, MiBus, operator of Panama’s Metrobús system, has tested two electric buses that BYD supplied to it for free. Having done that, MiBus has decided to cancel an order for 160 new diesel buses and purchase electric buses from BYD instead. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Brazil’s Effort To Protect Amazon Rainforest Yeilding Opposite Effect: Report” • After the president of Brazil put the military in charge of protecting the rainforest, Associated Press has reported a decline in the investigation and prosecution of rainforest destruction by ranchers, farmers, and miners, even as this year’s burning season picks up. [Republic World]

Amazon River (AP image)

¶ “ReNew And UN Environment Program To Work Together For Renewables And Energy Efficiency” • ReNew Power and the UN Environment Program entered a partnership agreement to promote increased access to renewable energy and improved energy efficiency. UNEP addresses environmental issues at the global and regional level for the UN. [Mercom India]

¶ “First Solar Offers First-Of-Its-Kind Grid Balancing Services With A 141-MW Solar Project” • First Solar, a US-based solar panel manufacturer, announced that its 141-MW Luz del Norte solar PV project in Chile secured a license to supply ancillary grid services on a commercial basis. The company said it is the first solar project to provide such services. [Mercom India]

Solar project

India:

¶ “Possible To Shift To Renewable Energy: Experts Welcome UN Secretary General’s Advice To India On Combatting Climate Change” • Experts welcomed UN secretary general’s advice to India to phase out fossil fuel to combat climate change. But they said the government needs to ensure a just energy transition and livelihood of workers. [News18]

¶ “India Becoming A Global Force In Renewable Energy” • India is inching towards becoming a major force in the world for tapping and harnessing renewable energy with an increase of 226% in installed renewable energy capacity over the last five years. India stands fifth globally in terms of installed renewable energy capacity. [The Sunday Guardian]

Solar panels

¶ “Is Maharashtra Ready For ‘Renewable Only’ Capacity Creation?” • The Coronavirus pandemic might have achieved what no amount of push from well meaning people did. It is forcing Maharashtra, the most industrialized of India’s states, to consider putting a full stop on fresh thermal energy capacity creation in the state. [Saurenergy]

US:

¶ “Rocky Mountain Power Forges Ahead With $2 Billion Transmission Line In Wyoming” • Rocky Mountain Power, with 146,000 customers in Wyoming, submitted an application to the Wyoming Public Service Commission for regulatory approval, as it seeks to construct $2 billion in energy transmission lines in the state. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]

Moving a transformer (Image: Hitachi | Rocky Mountain Power)

¶ “Ohio House Seeking To End Energy Bill” • State Reps Michael J O’Brien and Michael Skindell will try to push the Ohio House to vote Tuesday to repeal the controversial House Bill 6 that bailed out two failed nuclear power plants and is at the heart of a federal political corruption case. They will try a “rarely used tool” to bypass committee hearings. [Youngstown Vindicator]

¶ “Bill Gates’ Nuclear Venture Plans Reactor To Complement Solar, Wind Power Boom” • A nuclear energy venture founded by Bill Gates said it hopes to build small advanced nuclear power stations that can store electricity to supplement grids powered increasingly by intermittent renewable sources. A 345-MW plant would cost $1 billion. [Daily Times]

Have a fantastically tranquil day.

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August 29 Energy News

August 29, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Hurricanes, Fires, Floods And Locusts: Science Says Climate Change Is Here But The RNC Refuses To Believe” • The US military warned about climate change in 1990, predicting death, desperation, and tension in distant lands. Now the Hurricanes, fires, and floods are here in the US. But watching the Republican National Convention, you’d never know. [CNN]

Damage from Hurricane Laura

World:

¶ “Another Record Month For Plugin Vehicles In Europe” • The European passenger plugin vehicle market is on fire, having scored over 113,000 registrations in July (+213% year over year, the highest growth rate in 5 years). This is the market’s second record performance in a row, after the 93,000 registrations of June. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Xpeng G3 – $21,383 to $29,102 Hot Electric Crossover (in China)” • Xpeng is a young EV startup in China that is getting a lot more attention in the US now that it has gone public on the New York Stock Exchange. We’ve been covering the company for a couple of years, but now we are doing a deep dive on the Xpeng G3, an electric crossover. [CleanTechnica]

Xpeng G3

¶ “Renewable Energy Push Boosts Bets On Wind, Solar In Israel” • On the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, solar energy and renewable power storage stocks are outperforming oil and gas producers. The Israeli government is pledging to spend more on cleaner alternatives, at just the time investors are seeking to diversify away from fossil fuels. [Moneyweb]

¶ “Billionaire Adamant Coal Jobs Will Vanish” • Influential billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes believes Australia needs to be honest with coal workers that jobs in the industry will disappear over the next two decades. Sitting on a panel with government coal supporters, he said it was time for politicians to be straight with coalminers. [Australian Associated Press]

Billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes (Mick Tsikas | AAP PHOTOS)

¶ “Schlumberger New Energy And Thermal Energy Partners Create Geothermal Project Development Company” • A new subsidiary of Schlumberger and Thermal Energy Partners have entered into an agreement to create STEP Energy, which is to develop efficient and profitable geothermal power generation projects. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Distributed And Large-Scale Renewables Improve Reliability Outlook For Australia’s Main Grid” • The reliability of Australia’s power supply has actually improved with the addition of new solar and wind capacity, making summer blackouts less likely, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator in its latest report. [pv magazine Australia]

Renewable energy (Pixabay image)

US:

¶ “California Takes A Big First Step Toward Climate Change Adaptation” • California’s Public Utilities Commission became the nation’s first regulator to require utilities to account better for the impact of climate change on energy infrastructure and services. The PUC ordered them to prioritize it in their planning and operations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Laura Rapidly Intensified Over a Super-Warm Gulf. Only the Storm Surge Faltered” • Laura will likely cause billions of dollars in damage, but the season’s fourth hurricane avoided major population centers by making landfall between New Orleans and Houston. A last-minute wobble to the east reduced storm surge and flooding where it did hit. [InsideClimate News]

Lake Charles neighborhood (Joe Raedle | Getty Images)

¶ “Volkswagen Says ID.4 Reservations Will Be Accepted Starting September 23” • In an announcement on August 28, Volkswagen of America said the ID.4, the battery electric SUV built on the company’s MEB electric vehicle platform, will be revealed online on September 23. Immediately after that, customers will be able to make reservations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Bollinger Motors Plans Push Into Electric Delivery Van Market” • Bollinger Motors, a startup EV company making a pickup truck and an SUV, wants to leverage is electric powertrain prowess to offer electric delivery vans as well. The company says it can build Class 2B, Class 3, Class 4, and Class 5 trucks using its all-electric skateboard. [CleanTechnica]

Bollinger delivery van (Credit: Bollinger Motors)

¶ “U.S. Shipments of Solar Photovoltaic Modules Increase as Prices Continue to Fall” • In 2019, US shipments of solar PV modules, or solar panels, reached a record-high 16.4 million kW, 2.9 million kW more than the previous record of 13.5 million kW set in 2016. Solar PV module shipments include imports, exports, and product for US consumption. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mitsubishi Hitachi Supplying Battery Energy Storage Systems For California Grid” • Hecate Grid awarded the Johanna Energy Storage System project to Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas, Inc. MHPS Americas will provide Hecate Grid battery energy storage systems totaling 20 MW, 80 MWh as part of a multi-year study. [Transmission & Distribution World]

Storage system (Photo by Malpetr, Dreamstime)

¶ “Fort Collins Power Provider Eyes Plan For 90% Noncarbon Electricity By 2030” • Platte River Power Authority appears poised to adopt a plan to achieve over 90% carbon-free electricity for Fort Collins and surrounding areas by 2030, highlighting the possibility that the power provider could fall short of its goal of 100% noncarbon electricity by 2030. [The Coloradoan]

¶ “NRC Gives Final Approval To NuScale’s SMR Design” • The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has completed its Phase 6 review of the Design Certification Application of NuScale Power’s small modular nuclear reactor, the company said. According to NuScale Power, its SMR is the first such reactor to receive NRC approval of its design. [POWER magazine]

Have a very pretty day, indeed.

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August 28 Energy News

August 28, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “685,000 Americans Evacuated This Week. Could Climate Change Be Responsible?” • 685,000 Americans are subject to mandatory evacuation orders this week – 385,000 in Texas, 200,000 in Louisiana, and 100,000 in California according to Forbes. Is it possible that a warming planet had anything to do with either situation? [CleanTechnica]

Hurricane Laura (NOAA – NESDIS, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Pipistrel Ready To Set Seven Electric Aircraft World Records” • Pipistrel, a small electric aircraft company, has a small electric airplane called the Velis Electro. The Velis Electro got its “first type approval” from the EU aviation security authority. Now, it is ready for a 700 km flight from the Swiss Alps to the North Sea that is to set records. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Seaweed: The food and fuel of the future?” • Seaweeds are fast-growing algae. They use energy from sunlight, and take up nutrients and carbon dioxide from the seawater. Scientists suggest seaweed could help fight climate change and offset carbon emissions. Increasing numbers of companies are investigating seaweed culture. [BBC]

Faroe Islands seaweed culture (Adrienne Murray)

World:

¶ “Unmodified Volkswagen ID.3 Travels 531 Kilometers On A Single Charge” • A stock ID.3 First Pro Performance equipped with a 58-kWh battery was driven 531 km from the factory in Zwickau, Germany to Schaffhausen, Switzerland, without recharging. The official range for that model of the ID.3 is 420 km using the WLTP standard. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Rapid Fall To Parity Predicted For Australian Renewable Hydrogen Costs” • Significant cost reductions to solar PV and wind technologies, as well as cost reductions to electrolysers, will mean that the cost of green hydrogen in Australia could reach $A3/kg ($2.19/kg) soon and that a “stretch goal” of $A2/kg could come into reach, a paper says. [RenewEconomy]

Work on a Siemens electrolyser (Image by Siemens)

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Chosen To Deliver 25-MW DC-Coupled Energy Storage System” • Wykes chose GE Renewable Energy to deliver the 25-MW multiple hour duration energy storage systems, the UK’s first DC-coupled battery system. It will be integrated with Wykes’ 60-MW PV plant at the Chelveston Renewable Energy Park. [Solar Power Portal]

¶ “Scottish Nuclear Power Station To Shut Down Early After Reactor Problems” • Hunterston nuclear station, one of the UK’s oldest remaining nuclear plants, is to close down next year, after encountering a series of safety-critical problems in its reactors. EDF Energy had hoped to keep the 44-year-old nuclear plant going until 2023. [The Guardian]

Hunterston nuclear power station (Ian Rutherford | Alamy)

¶ “UN Secretary General Urges India To Phase Out Coal And Embrace Renewable Energy” • UN Secretary General António Guterres called on the Indian government to move away from coal and other fossil fuel fuels and fully embrace renewable energy. Guterres’s remarks were delivered online at The Energy and Resources Institute. [Livemint]

US:

¶ “California Greenlights Electric Vehicle Charging Program For 38,000 New Charging Stations” • The California Public Utilities Commission approved a $437 million EV infrastructure program of Southern California Edison that will support deploying up to 38,000 new charging stations in Southern California over the next four years. The vote was 5-0. [CleanTechnica]

Nissan LEAF charging in California (Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Hurricanes And Chemical Plants Are A Toxic Mix” • Hurricane Laura intensified quickly in the Gulf of Mexico because the Gulf waters were so warm. It took twelve hours after landfall for Laura to weaken to Category 1. Larger and more intense storms come with global warming, and they are hitting a state known for its chemical plants. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Department Of Energy: $33 Million For Carbon-Neutral Hybrid Electric Aviation” • The US DOE announced $33 million in funding for 17 projects as part of two programs run by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. The programs are intended to support development of motors and range extenders for electric aircraft. [CleanTechnica]

NASA X-57 (Image courtesy of NASA)

¶ “The Renewable Energy Industry Weathers Covid” • Since the pandemic began, New Hampshire has lost nearly 1,461 clean energy jobs, according to BW Research Partnership. That is actually an 8.5% decline, the third smallest in the nation behind South Dakota and Utah. Nationally, the clean energy job loss was 14.8%. [New Hampshire Business Review]

¶ “Green Lantern Solar – Repowering Vermont” • Green Lantern has completed nearly 90 projects in Vermont, adding nearly 40 MW of in-state solar power to the state’s grid.  Green Lantern has built projects in 66 towns throughout Vermont. It has recently completed construction of a 150-kW solar array in Bristol, Vermont. [GlobeNewswire]

Sunset at a Green Lantern Solar array in Southern VT

¶ “The US Energy Storage Boom Is About To Begin” • America has the potential to see 100 GW of new energy storage deployed by 2030, the US Energy Storage Association said in a new white paper this month. The increase in energy storage installation is considered critical to ensuring more solar and wind power generation. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Byron, Dresden Nuclear Plants To Close In 2021” • Exelon Generation has announced that it intends to retire its Byron Generating Station and Dresden Generating Station in Illinois, in fall 2021. Dresden and Byron face revenue shortfalls in the hundreds of millions of dollars because of declining energy prices. [Beloit Daily News]

Have an enchantingly temperate day.

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August 27 Energy News

August 27, 2020

Hurricane Laura:

¶ “Hurricane Laura Makes Landfall In Southwestern Louisiana Near Texas” • Laura, the most powerful hurricane to strike the US so far this year, made landfall at 1:00 AM (local time) in southwestern Louisiana, just east of the Texas border, as an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds, the National Hurricane Center said. [Sky News]

Unsurvivable storm surge (CNN image)

¶ “Hurricane Laura Batters Louisiana’s Coast As A Category 3 Storm” • Laura is moving inland as a Category 3 hurricane after making landfall earlier near Cameron, Louisiana, as a Category 4 storm with winds of 150 mph. Water levels along the coast rose rapidly and forecasters warned of devastating winds and an “unsurvivable” storm surge of up to 20 feet. [CNN]

World:

¶ “HelloFresh Begins Delivering Food In Mercedes-Benz Electric Vans” • To an American, a Mercedes delivery vans and heavy-duty vehicles is an odd concept. But if you go to Belgium, you may even see electric Mercedes delivery vans delivering food boxes (prepared meals). They include a special design for keeping the food cool. [CleanTechnica]

HelloFresh refrigerated delivery van

¶ “Iran To Grant IAEA Inspectors Access To Suspected Ex-Nuclear Sites” • During a visit to Tehran by the IAEA’s director general, Iran agreed to give International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors access to two suspected former nuclear sites. A joint statement said Iran was doing so in good faith to resolve issues related to nuclear safeguards. [BBC]

¶ “Indian Railways’ Carbon Emission Will Be Zero By 2030, Says Union Minister Piyush Goyal” • Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said that the Indian Railways has set a target of reducing carbon emission to zero by the end of 2030. The plan is for Indian Railways to use surplus land along its tracks to install 20 GW of renewable capacity. [Zee News]

Metro rail (iMahesh, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “The Green Hydrogen Wave And Implications For Renewable Energy” • A report from Wood Mackenzie says green hydrogen costs will fall by up to 64% by 2040. It says that the announced project pipeline for green hydrogen has grown from 3.5 GW to just over 15 GW in the last ten months. That is enough volume for the nascent market to scale. [Saurenergy]

¶ “China Dominates Global Wind And Solar Output” • China is the world’s largest producer of renewable electricity, according to the International Energy Agency’s Key World Energy Statistics report. With an installed capacity of 184 GW, China has 28.7% of global wind production, and its 175 GW of solar capacity produce 31.9% of global solar production. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Credit: GE)

Australia:

¶ “Queensland-Owned Generator Seals Wind Power Deal” • A government-owned coal-fired station operator signed a power purchase deal with what will be one of the state’s largest wind farms in Central Queensland. Lacour Energy and Goldwind will build the 450-MW wind farm, which will sell nearly 75% of the energy to Stanwell Corporation. [Government News]

¶ “The Renewable Energy Revolution Comes To The Shops In Toowoomba” • Toowoomba’s Grand Central Shopping Center is joining Queensland’s renewable energy revolution, with work underway installing more than 2400 solar panels on the center’s rooftop. The panels of the rooftop syste will generate almost 1 MW of electricity. [Manufacturers’ Monthly]

Rooftop solar system

¶ “Renewable Energy Heat System To Reduce Industrial Gas Use By Up To 80%” • While acknowledging fossil fuels will likely always retain some role in industry, research, and development undertaken by the University of South Australia’s Future Industry Institute suggests the role of gas may shrink over the next few years. [Mirage News]

US:

¶ “Puerto Rico Regulators Set Island On A 5-Year Course To Procure Renewables” • The Puerto Rico Energy Bureau partially rejected the gas-heavy Integrated Resource Plan proposed by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.  It directed PREPA to procure at least 3.5 GW of solar and 1.36 GW of battery storage by 2025. [Utility Dive]

Puerto Rico (Flickr image)

¶ “Tesla Reveals Details Of Its Fremont Casting Machine – In China!” • A posting on the Tesla China website contains lots of new information on the giant multi-directional high pressure casting machine the company has installed at the north end of its factory in Fremont, California. A single casting replaces 70 individual aluminum stampings. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Waymo Self-Driving Trucks Hit Texas” • Waymo has been working on self-driving trucks for a couple of years. Waymo Chrysler Pacifica minivans have been driving the streets of Texas obsessively in recent months to map everything out in as much detail as possible, and now Waymo is confident enough with what it has to let the trucks loose. [CleanTechnica]

Waymo self driving semi truck

¶ “Latest Survey Shows Increase In Concern About Climate Change Among Voters” • In the arcane world of polling, there is a cohort of people known as the issue public – those who feel an issue is extremely important to them personally. On climate change, the issue public has grown from 13% in 2015 to nearly double that, 25%, today. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Verizon Enters Renewable PPAs For 450 MW Of RE Capacity” • Verizon Communications announced that it has entered into four more long-term renewable energy purchase agreements totaling more than 450 MW of renewable energy capacity as part of its commitment to be carbon neutral in its operations (scope 1 and 2) by 2035. [Saurenergy]

Have a wildly triumphant day.

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August 26 Energy News

August 26, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Electric Trucks Are Coming. Where Should They Go?” • Electric trucks made national headlines earlier this month when a study from Woods Mackenzie projected that 54,000 electric trucks would be on US roads by 2025 – approximately 27 times current stock. We know that electric trucks are coming. But where should they go? [CleanTechnica]

Mercedes eActros (Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz/Daimler)

¶ “Is Nickel The New Gold? Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Comments Inspire Interest In Nickel” • In the popular imagination, lithium is the element that powers EVs. However, the term “lithium-ion batteries” is something of a misnomer, because they don’t really contain that much lithium. Elon Musk suggests “nickel-graphite” might be a better a name. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Hidden Plants That ‘Bleed’ Nickel” • Even slightly too much nickel can poison and kill most plants. However, nickel hyper-accumulators have the ability to withstand this excess by binding the metal inside their cell walls or storing it in their vacuoles. They could be used to “mine” the metal without ruining ecosystems. [BBC]

Restoration after strip mining (Getty Images)

¶ “Tesla Air? Elon Musk Hints Tesla Could Mass Produce 400 Wh/kg Batteries In Three To Four Years” • Elon Musk suggested on Twitter that Tesla may be able to mass produce batteries with 50% more energy density in three to four years, which could enable electric airplanes. Musk has been interested in pushing electric aircraft for years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Study: Black Turbine Blades Reduced Bird Mortality By 72%” • Bird death from turbine collisions dropped by 71.9% where a turbine blade was black, compared with unpainted turbines at the same wind farm, findings published in the peer-reviewed journal Ecology and Evolution show. Trained dogs have tracked dead birds at the site for ten years. [E&E News]

Wind farm and birds (Peter Franken | Unsplash)

¶ “Wider Wind-Solar Complementarity Would Mean Less Need For Storage” • A study from the Lappeenranta University of Technology in Finland states that a deeper complementarity between solar and wind generation may favor renewables deployment, reducing the need for stronger developments in storage technology. [pv magazine international]

World:

¶ “Aldi Australia Commits To 100% Renewable Power” • Global supermarket giant Aldi is now committing to 100% renewable electricity to power its Australian operations by the end of 2021. It recently procured two ten-year Power Purchasing Agreements with large-scale wind farms, and now it is completing a vast solar installation program. [reNEWS]

Installing solar panels (Unsplash image)

¶ “Renewable Energy Comprises 20% Of Egypt’s Total Electricity: Minister” • Renewable energy now accounts for 20% of Egypt’s electricity production, according to Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker. The percentage reflects the renewable energy production capacity that the country had targeted by 2022. [ZAWYA]

¶ “Scottish Oil Workers Are Happy To Join The Renewable Revolution” • Over three-quarters of oil workers in Scotland have considered retraining to find jobs in the renewables industries. A study found that 77% of oil workers in Scotland are positive about retraining to join the renewables industry, as they see threats to oil jobs from various sources. [OilPrice.com]

Offshore wind farm

¶ “Liberal MPs Say Collinsville Coal Power Plant Will Never Proceed As Renewables Are Cheaper” • Liberals who have been outspoken in their opposition to taxpayer funding of new coal projects predict a new power plant in north Queensland being championed by the Nationals will never proceed because of cheaper renewable alternatives. [The Guardian]

¶ “Onshore Repowering May Be ‘Key To UK Achieving Net Zero’” • Extensions and repowering of existing onshore wind farms could play an important role in helping the UK meet its 2050 net zero target, analysis by Cornwall Insight says. The current 13-GW onshore wind fleet could start to reduce in size from 2027 if repowering is not undertaken. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (ScottishPower Renewables image)

US:

¶ “Storm Damage Prompts NextEra Energy To Shut Duane Arnold Nuclear Plant Early” • NextEra Energy Resources said it will not restart the reactor at the Duane Arnold Energy Center before its permanent closing date. The 622-MW Iowa nuclear plant was scheduled to close on Oct. 30, 2020, but on August 10, it was damaged by a storm. [S&P Global]

¶ “Ancient Redwood Trees Are Burning In California” • The California redwood trees are not just the tallest on the planet. The species is almost as old as the dinosaurs. Some living trees are older than Christianity. They only grow in California. And they have even survived some of the worst of climate change – until now. [CleanTechnica]

Ancient trees (Photo: Andrew Jenkins | Unsplash)

¶ “Dow Jones Throws ExxonMobil Overboard In Massive Index Shakeup” • ExxonMobil has been kicked out of the Dow Jones Industrial Average index and replaced by a technology company that sells software that allows large companies to track sales and other information, Salesforce.com. ExxonMobil has been part of the Dow index for 92 years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Green Party Candidates Likely Won’t Be On Montana Ballots Following Supreme Court Action” • Green Party candidates for key congressional races will likely not appear on Montana ballots this fall after the US Supreme Court declined to take up an emergency petition from the state’s Republican secretary of state. [CNN]

Have magically joyful day.

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August 25 Energy News

August 25, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “For Decades, Oil And Gas Have Been Poisoning The North Sea With Methane” • For decades, as a result of their drilling, the oil and gas industry has been poisoning the North Sea (and, thanks to current, probably every other ocean and sea) as well as heating up our climate for at least 30 years – probably longer – with methane. [CleanTechnica]

IMethane rising up from the seabed (Image © Greenpeace)

¶ “New Energy Storage ‘Water Battery’ Breakthrough” • One of the projects to emerge from the US DOE’s focus on energy storage is a new pumped hydro turbine design from Obermeyer Hydro Inc. Obermeyer’s contribution to the cause involves a new reversible pump turbine design that is slim and compact enough to fit in a well. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Researchers Improve ‘Anti-Solar’ Energy Production” • So-called “anti-solar” panels capture energy by radiating the Earth’s heat at night. Authors of a study published in the journal Optics Express say they have developed a method that, in simulations, has improved energy generation in anti-solar panels by as much as 120%. [Voice of America]

Solar panels in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, France
(Photo: Jean-Paul Pelissier | Reuters)

World:

¶ “Australia Fires: Similar Or Worse Disasters ‘Will Happen Again'” • An inquiry into the recent massive bushfire disaster in Australia has found the country should expect “worse” in the years to come. The review – which looked at New South Wales, the worst-hit state – made sweeping proposals aimed at better preparing for future fire seasons. [BBC]

¶ “The Environment Law That Mobilised Two Million Indians” • In Delhi, officials are sifting through two million emails sent by people venting about a draft environment law. Critics say the draft limits regulation of and public hearings over large projects, exempting some from public consultation, as it promotes profit-generating projects for investors. [BBC]

Polluting power plant (Getty Images)

¶ “Volkswagen Pushes The EV Revolution Forward With New Manufacturing Technology” • Volkswagen news releases show the company is pushing forward with the EV revolution and making significant upgrades to its manufacturing process. Unlike Tesla, which is building brand new factories, Volkswagen is retrofitting existing factories. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Partnership Between UNEP And Renew Power To Increase Access To Clean, Efficient Energy In India” • India’s largest renewable energy company, ReNew Power, and the UN Environment Programme have signed a partnership agreement to promote increased access to renewable energy and improved energy efficiency. [UN Environment]

Wind turbines (Pixabay image)

¶ “JERA Unveils 520-MW Ishikari Bay Project In Japan” • JERA, a Japanese utility, has taken the wraps off the 520-MW Ishikari Bay offshore wind farm off Hokkaido. The company has filed an environmental assessment with the Japan’s Economy Minister for up to 65 turbines in shallow waters. A battery storage facility is also planned. [reNEWS]

¶ “Massive Clarke Creek Wind Farm Inks Deal With Queensland Coal Generator” • The massive Clarke Creek renewable energy project is poised to move to the construction phase after signing a deal with the Queensland government owned Stanwell Corp to buy 348 MW of the electricity generated by the first stage, a 450-MW wind farm. [RenewEconomy]

Goldwind turbines (Image supplied)

US:

¶ “Marco Makes Landfall, Laura Predicted To Be Category 2 Hurricane In Gulf” • A downgraded Tropical Storm Marco made landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River, but people are worrying about a strengthening Tropical Storm Laura. The two storms are hitting the same coast just days apart. With climate change we see more frequent major hurricanes. [NPR]

¶ “Montana’s High Court Rules Utility Cannot Discriminate Against Solar Energy” • The Montana Supreme Court rejected NorthWestern Energy’s attempts to shut out competition from local or customer-owned solar projects that would help meet the state’s electricity needs. The court found the utility discrimiated against such projects illegally. [Earthjustice]

Rooftop solar panels (Matt Mallams for Earthjustice)

¶ “Pattern Energy Turns Sod On 105-MW Texas Solar” • Pattern Energy has started construction of its 105-MW Phoenix solar project in Fannin county, Texas, having received financing from ING Capital and RBC Community Investments. Phoenix Solar has a 12-year Power Purchase Agreement with Digital Reality. It is expected to be completed in mid-2021. [reNEWS]

¶ “A Wyoming Health Care Clinic For All, Powered By The Sun” • Atop the Downtown Clinic in Laramie there are rows of solar panels. The array and its battery will cover 98% of the medical clinic’s electricity costs. That’s a big deal for the clinic, which primarily serves low-income and uninsured patients needing health care. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]

Rooftop solar array (Courtesy of Rocky Mountain Power)

¶ “New Report Finds Rhode Island Has Plenty Of Room To Expand Solar Responsibly” • Rhode Island may be small, but according to a report by Synapse Energy Economics Inc, it has room to generate lots of solar energy without sacrificing the state’s dwindling green spaces, more electricity than the state consumes. [ecoRI news]

¶ “Nuclear Advocates Fret As First Maker Of Small Reactors Encounters Trouble” • NuScale Power, which is expected to be the first in the US to operate a small nuclear reactor, is facing setbacks that have caused supporters to question whether the novel technology will ever realize its potential as a tool to combat climate change. [Washington Examiner]

Have an awesomely entertaining day.

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August 24 Energy News

August 24, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Japan Is Closing Its Old, Dirty Power Plants – And That’s Bad News For Australia’s Coal Exports” • Last month, the Japanese government announced a plan to retire its fleet of old, inefficient coal-fired generation by 2030. That matters a lot to Australia. Last year, Australia shipped about 12% of its total thermal coal exports to Japan. [The Conversation AU]

Unloading coal from a ship in a Japanese port

¶ “Solving California’s Heat-Induced Rolling Blackouts With Clean Energy Innovation” • California had rolling blackouts over the weekend as our fossil-fuel reliant grid failed to respond to soaring temperatures. Many residents had no air-conditioning or access to life-saving medical equipment. A failure of policy was a major cause of the blackout. [Napa Valley Register]

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Wildfire Pollution May Be Harming Your Health” • Smoke from burning forests and peat can linger for weeks in the atmosphere, drifting thousands of miles and harming the health of populations living far away. And since the start of 2020, Russia has seen an estimated 19 million hectares consumed by wildfires [an area a little larger than New England]. [BBC]

Smoke from a wildfire (AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Earth Lost A ‘Staggering’ 28 Trillion Tonnes Of Ice In Just 23 Years” • Scientists from Leeds and Edinburgh universities and University College London analysed satellite surveys of glaciers, mountains, and ice sheets between 1994 and 2017 to identify the impact of global warming. They called the loss of ice that they found “staggering.” [ScienceAlert]

¶ “EAG Reveals Hybrid Electric Airplane Concept” • EAG plans to have the HERA (for Hybrid Electric Regional Aircraft) in service by 2028. The HERA will offer carriers short take-off-and-landing performance, a flexible cabin design for quick change between passenger and cargo configurations, and an operating range of 800 nautical miles. [CleanTechnica]

EAG HERA (Image courtesy of EAG)

World:

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Building Largest Wind Turbine Rotor Test Rig At Netherlands Technology Center” • GE Renewable Energy shared an update on progress to construct the largest wind turbine rotor test rig of its kind. The rotor test rig will allow for verification of the strength and the dynamic behavior of wind turbine rotors. [marketscreener.com]

¶ “Australian Solar Provides Cheapest Energy, Incurs Highest Frequency Ancillary Services Payments” • New calculations by energy analysts Cornwall Insight now find that solar farms are disproportionately shouldering the growing cost of providing frequency control ancillary services in the National Electricity Market. [pv magazine international]

Solar panels (Image: iamme ubeyou | flickr)

¶ “Amazon To Build Wind Farm In Galway To Help Power Its Data Centres” • Amazon is set to double its renewable energy capability in Ireland with a new wind farm project. The 115-MW project in Ardderroo, Co Galway, will support Amazon Web Services data centers in Ireland. It is to begin operations in 2022, with up to 27 turbines on the site. [The Irish Times]

¶ “Israel Moots Plan To Buy Solar Power From Former Enemy Jordan” • Israel is considering buying solar power from its neighbour and former enemy, Jordan, in a potentially historic deal that could help the country meet ambitious new renewable energy targets. Israel has never had an electric tie to any of its neightboring countries before. [The Guardian]

The Ashalim solar tower (Thomas Coex | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Danish Developer Turns Sod On 200 MW Of Subsidy-Free PVs” • Danish renewables developer Better Energy has begun constructing a 200-MW PV project, which will be northern Europe’s largest subsidy-free solar plant when completed next year. The solar plant, in Holstebro municipality, in Denmark, will be operational in mid-2021. [reNEWS]

¶ “Receding Glaciers In Nanda Devi Region Affecting Lifestyle, Agriculture” • The changes in glaciers in the Nanda Devi region of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand in the last three decades have majorly affected the lifestyle, culture and agricultural practices of people living in nearby villages, a study carried out by experts from major institutes says. [Hindustan Times]

Nanda Devi with clouds (Soumyoo, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Iran Nuclear: Fire At Natanz Plant ‘Caused By Sabotage'” • Iran’s nuclear body has said last month’s fire at a major nuclear facility at Natanz was caused by sabotage. But they did not say who they believed was behind the incident. This comes after a number of fires and explosions at power facilities and other sites over the last few weeks. [BBC]

US:

¶ “So Much For Saving Coal Jobs: More Offshore Wind Jobs Waiting In The Wings” • The offshore wind industry is soldiering on despite conflicting signals from US policy makers, and it looks to be weathering the storm. Recent news indicates that the US offshore wind sector is gearing up for more clarity and more confidence in the years to come. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbine off Virginia (Dominion Energy image)

¶ “Study Shows States Can Embrace ‘Green’ Energy And Still Grow” • Every New England state has cut their energy-related carbon emissions while growing their economies in the past two decades, according to a new analysis by the World Resources Institute. This offers proof that climate action can actually be a good return on investment. [ecoRI news]

¶ “After Forty-Eight Years, Democrats Endorse Nuclear Energy In Platform” • In the party platform they released, the Democrats say they favor a “technology-neutral” approach that includes “all zero-carbon technologies, including hydroelectric power, geothermal, existing and advanced nuclear, and carbon capture and storage.” [Forbes] (Disappointing stand – pro-nuclear article)

Have a remarkably inspiring day.

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August 23 Energy News

August 23, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The Observer View On The Climate Catastrophe Facing Earth” • Thirty years ago this week, first assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned us that we faced a threat of unprecedented magnitude. Greenhouse gas emissions would be triggers of dangerous climate change. We have recklessly ignored that warning. [The Guardian]

Greenland (Andrew Bossi | Goddard Space Flight Center | NASA)

¶ “How Can Humankind Find A Sustainable Future In The Midst Of Climate Change? This Scientist Has Some Ideas” • In a new book, F Stuart Chapin, an emeritus professor of ecology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, has an optimistic argument for a grassroots movement leading away from the Earth’s destruction to sustainability. [Anchorage Daily News]

Science and Technology:

¶ “2020 Is Proving Another Disastrous Year For Our Earth’s Climate” • The year still has more than four months to go, but 2020 already has proven itself to be another eventful one in terms of natural disasters, rising global temperatures and threatening environmental outlooks. Here’s a look at just some of the anomalies we’ve faced so far in 2020. [HuffPost]

Grain bins damaged by wind (Daniel Acker | Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Porsche Announces It’s Investigating Suspected Gas Engine Manipulation” • Porsche announced that it had launched an internal investigation into suspected engine manipulation, Bild am Sonntag reported. It informed KBA, Germany’s automotive watchdog, the Stuttgart prosecutor’s office, and authorities here in the US of the matter. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Saudi Arabia’s Renewables Sector Could Generate Up To 750,000 Jobs By 2030, Report Says” • The development of Saudi Arabia’s renewable energy sector could result in the creation of up to 750,000 jobs over the next decade as the kingdom pushes to generate 7% of its total electricity output from renewables by 2030, according to a study. [The National]

Solar field

¶ “Nuclear Giants Team Up To Develop Reactors In Ontario And Saskatchewan” • Canada’s leading nuclear industry players have announced an inter-provincial corporate partnership to support the launch of a research center for developing small modular reactors for use in Saskatchewan. SMR capacities range from 50 MW to 300 MW. [The Battlefords News-Optimist]

US:

¶ “Adirondacks Seeing A Push For Green Energy” • The trees, solar arrays, dams, and wind turbines of the Adirondacks all have roles in meeting the demands of a climate protection law that the state of New York touts as the nation’s most aggressive. But the environmental ideals of wildland preservation and carbon-free energy sometimes compete. [Albany Times Union]

Adirondack Mountains (R khot, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Trump Administration Invests In Renewable Energy” • The Trump Administration announced that the US Department of Agriculture is investing nearly $400,000 to support rural small business, farm, and ranch energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy installations in Montana through the Rural Energy for America Program. [kxlo-klcm] (not enough – ghh)

¶ “‘Driest I’ve Seen’: Without Summer Rains, Arizona Cattle Ranchers Confront Tough Choices” • At this time of year, dark clouds are usually rolling in over Arizona’s pastures, arriving with thunder and lightning. The storms douse the land and nourish the grasses. But this year, the monsoon hasn’t come, and the rangelands have been left parched. [AZCentral.com]

Cow in a drought (Thomas Hawthorne | The Republic)

¶ “Gov Pritzker Announces Eight Principles For A Clean And Renewable Illinois Economy” • Governor JB Pritzker announced eight principles that will begin transitioning Illinois to a clean energy economy. The Governor’s principles focus on utility accountability, clean energy jobs in Illinois, reducing harmful emissions, and low costs. [RiverBender.com]

¶ “Xcel Looks At New Nuclear Options As It Moves To Carbon-Free Power Goals” • Xcel had announced plans to extend the life of its Monticello nuclear plant by at least 10 years, and now Xcel CEO Ben Fowke said the utility would like to do the same at Prairie Island. The company also is looking at smaller, advanced nuclear reactors. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Prairie Island (Glen Stubbe | Star Tribune file photo)

¶ “Energy Offset And Renewable Power Developer Arcadia Pitches Clean Power As An Employee Benefit” • Arcadia is known as a company that gives homeowners and renters a way to offset their carbon footprints through renewable energy credits and clean power developments. Now, it is pitching its services to businesses as an employee benefit. [Inventiva]

¶ “Entergy Arkansas making headway in solar power generation” • Entergy Arkansas’s commitment to solar energy has been relatively overlooked. Entergy Arkansas is the largest solar power provider in the state based on generation capacity. And by 2023, solar PVs will comprise 6.4% of the capacity available to the company. [NWAOnline]

Have an indefatigably perfect day.

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August 22 Energy News

August 22, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Bad Policy, Not Renewables, Are To Blame For California Blackouts” • Opponents of climate science, particularly the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, were quick to condemn renewable energy for the blackouts. So did Donald Trump. But they are both wrong, according to Stephen Berberich, head of California’s power grid operator. [CleanTechnica]

LS Power Gateway battery (Credit: LS Power)

¶ “Radiation Detections In Northern Europe: What We Do And Don’t Know” • Nuclear experts are still puzzling over an event in June, when several monitoring stations in northern Europe detected extremely small quantities of radionuclides in the atmosphere. We may not know what it was, but the finger points to Russia. [Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Alaskan Salmon Are Decreasing In Size Thanks To Climate Change And Competition, Study Says” • Alaskan salmon are getting smaller due to climate change and competition, a study says. The authors researched over six decades of data from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, from 1957 to 2018, on over 12.5 million fish. [CNN]

Salmon (Andrew Hendry | Handout | Reuters)

¶ “New Low-Cost Flow Battery Could Sustain A Future Powered By Renewable Energy” • The EU-funded VR-ENERGY project has developed a new version of vanadium redox flow technology. At the core of VR-ENERGY’s technology is a proprietary ‘single-cell’ design in which each cell operates independently, with its own operational parameters. [Cordis News]

¶ “Greenland’s Ice Sheet Melted Faster Than Ever Before In 2019, Study Says.” • Research published in the journal Communications Earth and Environment found that in 2019 Greenland’s ice sheet lost an annual record of 532 billion tons of ice. By comparison, between 2003 and 2016 the ice sheet lost an average of about 255 billion tons per year. [CNN]

Greenland (Sean Gallup | Getty Images)

¶ “Solar Technology Could Increase Global Access To Drinking Water” • Access to clean drinking is a challenge in some parts of the world. As the population grows and resources shrink, the issue gets even more pressing. New solar technology provides a possible solution by desalinating saltwater with minimal energy consumption. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

World:

¶ “50-MW Spanish Solar Plant Gains Grid Connection” • The 50-MW Guzman solar power plant in Spain is now connected to the grid, Foresight Group LLP announced. It has been exporting electricity since 19 August from its 150,000 solar panels. They are expected to generate around 85 GWh every year, contributing significantly to Spain’s emissions targets. [reNEWS]

Solar plant (Foresight Group image)

¶ “India Wants To Cut Reliance On Chinese Solar Parts” • India’s push for renewable energy has slowed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the country isn’t considering eliminating its tariffs on inexpensive solar parts from China. In fact, it’s extending them. And India’s goal of installing 100 GW of solar power by the year 2022 is way behind. [Karma]

¶ “South Korea To Invest $46 Billion In Renewable Energy By 2030” • South Korea currently relies on coal and gas for two-thirds of its power. However, currently planned investments in renewable energy companies will be used to create 800 MW of new solar power capapcity and 16,500 MW of additional wind power capacity. [Energy Digital]

Wind farm in South Korea (socialwalker, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Covid Is ‘Restart Button’ For Climate Action, Royal Institution Christmas Lecturers Say” • Covid-19 provides an opportunity to make changes to tackle climate change, experts behind this year’s Royal Institution Christmas lectures have said. They believe as countries deal with economies, there are new opportunities to act on climate change. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “California Wildfires: 560 Blazes Have Scorched More Acres Than There Are In Rhode Island” • Almost every firefighting resource in California is battling hundreds of blazes, including two of the largest wildfires in the state’s history, Gov Gavin Newsom said. About 96% of the state’s firefighting engines have been assigned, according to a spokesman. [CNN]

Lightning (Santa Rosa Fire Department)

¶ “California Fires: Governor Asks Australia For Help” • Gov Gavin Newsom said California is struggling to contain huge wildfires burning forests and homes, as more than 12,000 fire-fighters battle the blazes that have killed six people. Help is on its way from several US states, and Gov Newsom put in a plea for assistance from Australia and Canada. [BBC]

¶ “Tulane University Has Launched A New Degree Program In Renewable Energy” • Tulane University’s AB Freeman School of Business has a new program, aiming for a Master of Management in Energy degree. It offers students a deep dive into the business of renewables to better prepare energy professionals for the changing marketplace. [Newswise]

Students at a solar array (Image courtesy of Entergy)

¶ “Pritzker Wants Illinois To Be A Completely Renewable-Energy State By 2050” • Illinois Governor JB Pritzker provided a look at how he wants the state to be powered completely by renewable-energy by 2050. It would have tighter controls on the utility companies. This comes amid an influence-peddling scheme involving ComEd. [Herald & Review]

¶ “Goldman Sachs Renewable Power Buys California Solar-Plus-Storage Plant” • Goldman Sachs Renewable Power acquired a 100-MW solar PV plant with a 50-MW battery storage facility now under development in San Bernadino, California. GSRP had earlier bought the 123-MW American Kings Solar project in California. [Energy Storage News]

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August 21 Energy News

August 21, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Natural Gas Is Not All It’s Fracked Up To Be” • If we have learned anything from climate science, it is that humanity must stop burning fossil fuels. Full stop. There is no other way to keep the Earth from heating to the point where humans can no longer survive on its surface. If we are to reduce climate emissions to zero by 2050, natural gas must go. [CleanTechnica]

Natural gas facility in Perth, Australia (Strike Energy image)

¶ “How a Plan to Save the Power System Disappeared” • In August, 2018, Joshua Novacheck, a research engineer for the US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, was presenting the most important study of his nascent career. He couldn’t have known it yet, but things were about to go very wrong, as Trump officials worked to block it. [The Atlantic]

¶ “UK Nuclear Power: The Next Huawei?” • Once a key part of the UK’s energy plans, nuclear power faces cheaper renewables, rising costs, and domestic opposition. It also finds itself at the center of a row between London and Beijing that could prove fatal. London’s relations with China were hailed as entering a “golden era” only four years ago. [Deutsche Welle]

Nuclear plant (M Cardy | Getty Images)

World:

¶ “NIO Launches Battery-as-a-Service To Make EV Ownership Even Easier” • The battery is the most expensive component in an EV, so removing the battery from the initial purchase event makes electric vehicles more affordable for new owners. For NIO, leasing batteries is a new business line, and it makes NIO EVs more affordable. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volvo Buses Inks New Electric Bus Orders In Norway” • Of all nations, Norway is one of these most actively cutting carbon emissions. That means putting significant incentives in place for EVs, be they passenger vehicles, trucks, ferries, or buses. One of its policy initiatives calls for all urban buses in the country to be battery electric by 2025. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo bus, charging (Credit: Volvo Buses)

¶ “Pakistan’s Government Plans To Introduce Renewable Energy Entrepreneurship” • The federal government is planning to introduce renewable energy entrepreneurship in the country to promote the renewable energy share in the national energy mix. The formula would provide cheap, clean, and green energy solutions to the country. [Business Recorder]

US:

¶ “Lucid Air Will Be Fastest Charging Production Electric Car In The World” • Lucid Motors says its first production car, the Lucid Air, will charge faster than any other production car on Earth, making it able to add 300 miles of range in as little as 20 minutes using a Level 3 DC 350 kW fast charger. Lucid has a partnership with Electrify America. [CleanTechnica]

Lucid Air (Credit: Lucid Motors)

¶ “News From The SUN DAY Campaign” • According to a review by the SUN DAY Campaign of data just released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, renewable energy sources, including biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, and wind, dominated new US electrical generating capacity additions in the first half of 2020. [Green Energy Times]

¶ “Burlington YMCA’s Rooftop Solar To Provide 25% Of Energy Needs” • Encore Renewable Energy and the Greater Burlington YMCA announced the completion of a new rooftop solar array in downtown Burlington. The solar project is on a new YMCA facility that was built on a redeveloped property in downtown Burlington, Vermont. [Vermont Biz]

New YMCA facility in Burlington (Credit: Ryan Bent)

¶ “Chicago Urban Farming Project To Use Anaerobic Digestion To Mitigate Food Waste, Produce Renewable Energy” • Illinois Gov JB Pritzker joined Chicago-based Green Era to announce a $3 million state investment that will help transform a vacant brownfield parcel into a new Green Era Urban Farming Campus on Chicago’s South Side. [Waste Today Magazine]

¶ “Duke Energy Renewables Taps Goldman Sachs For $109 Million Investment” • Duke Energy Renewables has closed an investment of $109.4 million from Goldman Sachs to fund a portfolio of renewable energy projects. The money will be used over 18 months to support around 75 MW of solar and battery storage projects in several states. [Energy Live News]

Solar array (Duke Energy Image)

¶ “Vineyard And Mayflower Wind Agree Staging Port Leases” • Vineyard and Mayflower Wind signed lease agreements to use the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal as the primary staging and deployment base. The facility will be used for the construction and installation of offshore wind projects in federal waters south of Martha’s Vineyard. [reNEWS]

¶ “Consortium Unveils NY Offshore Wind Port Upgrade” • A New York consortium unveiled plans for an offshore wind hub in the state. A consultancy said its Port of Cortlandt site is one of eleven projects competing for up to $200 million in grants and loans funding to develop port infrastructure to help deliver New York’s 9-GW offshore wind target by 2035. [reNEWS]

Port of Cortlandt (AKRF image)

¶ “Anzode Receives $1.7 Million Grant For Developing Non-Lithium Ion Energy Storage” • Battery startup Anzode, Inc, has received a $1.7 million award for a three-year effort to develop battery technology, as part of a California Energy Commission grant funding opportunity for developers of non-lithium battery energy storage. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Logan Withdraws From Nuclear Power Project Seen As Cutting-Edge But Risky” • In Utah, a hesitant Logan City Council agreed to follow staff recommendations and voted to leave a nuclear power project based on small modular reactors. The project has been characterized by ballooning costs and funding uncertainties. [KSL.com]

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August 20 Energy News

August 20, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “How Corporate America Is Becoming A Powerful Ally For Clean Energy” • The fossil fuel industry has historically steered American energy and environmental policy. Now, retail and technology companies are grabbing at the wheel. Hundreds of companies, including Apple, Ikea, Facebook, and Google have committed to going 100% renewable. [HuffPost]

Wind farm (wmaster890 via Getty Images)

¶ “Citi CEO: Banks Must Have The Courage To Walk Away From Deals That Are Bad For The Climate” • By transforming energy systems, industrial processes, land use, buildings, transport and other infrastructure so they are more sustainable, we could simultaneously create thousands of new jobs and help propel a post-pandemic recovery. [CNN]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: The Animals At Risk From Alaska Oil Drilling” • Oil industry bosses insist they have a well-established record of environmentally responsible development of Alaska’s energy resources. But environmentalists say the US government has not adequately considered the risks to wildlife and local communities. [BBC]

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Japan Invests In Wind And Solar Power Plants” • Over $100 billion of investment in wind and solar power plants are expected to push the renewables share to 27% of Japan’s generation mix by 2030, exceeding the country’s target of up to 24%, says Wood Mackenzie. Last year, renewables made up 19% of the country’s power generation. [Energy Global]

¶ “DeepRoute And Cao Cao Rolling Out Robotaxis In Hangzhou, China” • Plans for robotaxi trials seem to be heating up. The latest news is that DeepRoute, an autonomous driving startup based in Shenzhen, is partnering with Cao Cao Mobility, a ride-hailing platform, to put hundreds of robotaxis on the streets of Hangzhou by 2022 at the latest. [CleanTechnica]

CaoCao and DeepRoute robotaxi in Hangzhou, China.

¶ “Vestas toasts 443-MW Viking victory on Shetland” • SSE Renewables has placed a 443-MW turbine order with Vestas for the Viking wind project on the Shetland Islands North of Scotland. The deal comprises 103 V117 turbines. Deliveries are expected to begin in Q1 of 2023, with commissioning taking place that same year. [reNEWS]

Australia:

¶ “Neoen Files Plans For $3 Billion Wind And Solar Farm With Battery Ten Times Bigger Than Hornsdale” • French developer Neoen filed a development application for a $3 billion wind, solar, and storage project in South Australia. It includes a proposed big battery, nearly 10 times as big as the expanded “Tesla big battery” at Hornsdale. [RenewEconomy]

Hornsdale Power Reserve

¶ “Palaszczuk Announces Investment In Three Queensland Renewable Energy ‘Corridors’” • Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that Queensland will establish three new renewable energy ‘corridors’ as part of a $145 million investment in new transmission infrastructure to unlock new wind and solar investment in the state. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “NFF Calls For Net Carbon Zero By 2050” • Australia’s peak farm body has thrown its weight behind an economy-wide target of net carbon zero by 2050. At an online meeting, Members of the National Farmers’ Federation voted in favor of the landmark policy, which includes strict caveats regarding economic viability and fair implementation. [Beef Central]

Cattle in NSW (Gregory Heath, CSIRO, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Capital Dynamics, Tenaska Forge 2-GW Battery Partnership” • Asset manager Capital Dynamics has signed an agreement with US power company Tenaska to develop approximately 2 GW of battery storage projects in California. They will develop nine battery projects to be located throughout California’s highest electrical load centers. [reNEWS]

¶ “Biden Campaign Reaffirms End To Fossil Fuels Subsidies” • Joe Biden was against subsidies for fossil fuels a month ago, but with passing time, the language in his platform opposing them suddenly disappeared. Now it’s back, after the Huffington Post noticed the change and environmental groups fought to get the language restored. [CleanTechnica]

Calling to end fossil fuel subsidies (Oil Change International)

¶ “MCAS Miramar Uses Renewable Energy To Prevent Blackouts” • Marine Corps Air Station Miramar unleashed the potential of their renewable energy powered grid to support San Diego during a heat wave. For over a decade, the base has been working on a microgrid powered by solar, landfill gas, and a power plant using natural gas and diesel. [10News]

¶ “Three Signs That US Defense Dept Is Gung Ho For Renewable Energy And Microgrids” • The current Commander-in-Chief may not be a big fan of renewable energy, but the DOD has been soldiering on into the sparkling green future. Three recent developments point in the direction of an accelerating transition to solar power and energy storage. [CleanTechnica]

Army installation with a microgrid (Xendee Corporation image)

¶ “Pocono Manor Investors Seeks To Build 630-Acre Solar Project” • A proposal is in the works to provide solar energy to residents of Pocono Township, Pennsylvania. Pocono Manor Investors has partnered with Apex Clean Energy in hopes of building a 80-MW solar project on 630 acres of private land in Pocono Manor. [Pocono Record]

¶ “TVA’s Biggest Customer Eyes Split With Federal Utility” • The Tennessee Valley Authority will have to compete with other wholesale power suppliers to keep its biggest customer beyond 2025. The TVA still uses nuclear reactors and older coal and gas plants, and Memphis Light Gas & Water is looking for cheaper options. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

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